A Loaded Question: How Do You Calculate Rentable Square Footage Floor Areas?


Last year, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) issued a major, major update to its well-regarded protocol for measuring office building floor areas. Although BOMA’s standards were designed for, and focus on, office properties and not retail properties (unless intrinsically a part of an office building), the principles and issues raised should be of great interest to those who focus on retail real estate law matters.

For that reason, here is a “bonus” Ruminations Blog posting prepared by Steven Gellerstein:

How do your clients with office buildings calculate the rentable square footage allocated to particular units in their building? Do they determine the load factor on a “floor by floor” methodology or do they use the relatively new “single load factor”?

So what’s the difference between rentable square footage and usable square footage? Aren’t they the same? Some tenants may think so and are surprised to learn that the usable square footage is actually smaller because rentable square footage includes a tenant’s pro rata portion of the common areas (such as lounges, bathrooms, etc.) and can also include its pro rata portion of building service areas (such as mechanical rooms, janitorial closets, elevators, and stairwells) within the building.

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