To show how powerful floor plans can be, take a look at this one and see if you can guess what famous office it illustrates (if you can read the names, that’s a big hint):
If, like us, this simple floor plan got you reminiscing about one of the greatest shows in the history of TV, you’ll get a sense of the value of having a graphical layout of a property. You can even order a copy of this floor plan from Etsy. The 8″ version looks great…(that’s what she said!)
There’s a study from a few years ago that suggests real estate buyers put a big emphasis on having floor plans. While the survey was conducted from home buyers, it’s not a big leap to assume that would somewhat translate over to commercial real estate properties. Adding to this survey is our own anecdotal experience, where we can report that buyers and tenants of office, retail and industrial properties alike often request if floor plans are available. And while it helps companies visualize where people, furniture or equipment will go, floor plans are quickly becoming mandatory when applying for a business license to operate. In fact, every single business we’ve dealt with recently has required a floor plan as part of their permitting application. Whether it’s a change of use, a continuation of use, or the City’s new program that eliminates the need for a development permit altogether for certain uses, a floor plan was required by city planners as part of every single business license application.
On the basis that virtually every tenant or buyer requests to see a floor plan, coupled with the requirement the City has to produce one as part of the business license application, it should be evident how imperative floor plans are in the process of buying or selling commercial real estate.
Some landlord’s make it a policy to have every vacancy measured to some exacting standard (usually BOMA Floor Measurement Standards) and accompany the measurements with a scaled floor plan. Here’s an example of a floor plan for an industrial property, which also indicates the type of loading doors in the warehouse and precise measurements throughout:
These plans can be fairly elaborate, and sometimes may even include 3D renderings, such as the following of an office space:
We have seen other plans that look like they were created in Microsoft Paint with dimensions running +/- an inch (or foot) or two. These crude drawings are also likely not to scale, but still serve a basic visual function (note: these may not be acceptable by the City for permitting purposes).
The sophisticated floor plans typically come in a .dwg file, which is the native format for AutoCAD (sometimes called CAD or CADD, short for computer-aided Design or computer-aided design and drafting, respectively). Architects and designers are able to do much more with a CAD file than a simple PDF drawing.
The prices to complete a floor plan can range considerably. It largely depends on who is conducting the work (ie/ architect, designer, or a measurement company) and the scope and detail of the plan itself. While getting a floor plan is an expense, it is one we highly recommend investing in.
And since we started with a reference from The Office, we’ll end with a great quote from the illustrious Michael Scott. We believe this quote could aptly apply to commercial real estate blogs too.
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Chad GriffithsPartner, SIOR, CCIM
Chad is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate and focuses on the Greater Edmonton area. Chad entered the industry in 2004 and has completed over 400 commercial transactions with clients ranging from small, local companies to large institutional owners. Chad has been a top 15 producer with NAI Canada-wide since 2013.
Ryan BrownPartner, BCom, SIOR
Ryan is a partner with NAI Commercial Real Estate in Edmonton and is currently ranked nationally as one of NAI's top advisors. Having executed in excess of $100 Million worth of sales transactions and over 2 Million square feet of lease transactions, Ryan has developed a firm understanding of asset evaluation and an aptitude for building design, functionality, and long-term practicality.
Darcie is a licensed Commercial Real Estate Agent in the Province of Alberta with a focus on the Edmonton market and its surrounding areas. Darcie accomplishes custom solutions for her clients through her personable nature and results driven attitude. Darcie can help if you are looking to invest in commercial real estate or are looking for representation for a sale or lease transactions.
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