Monday, July 9, 2007

What's a Vanilla Box Anyways?

I was reading Tina Devore's blog on Active Rain recently. She posted a requirement she had for some office space in the Lafayette Indiana area back in May. She described the requirement as being about 1,000 SF and the tenant would prefer a vanilla box.

One of the comments was somebody that asked simply, "What's a vanilla box anyways?"

I know what Tina meant and most commercial real estate professionals would know what she meant but obviously not everyone knew what she meant. So what does she mean when she says the tenant prefers a vanilla box?

Simply stated, when you are considering leasing office space in Leominster, or anywhere else for that matter, a vanilla box is an office that has not been painted or had any flooring put down or anything else done to it. I'm not sure exactly where the term comes from except that vanilla is a pretty plain flavor of ice cream and a vanilla box office is pretty plain looking since it hasn't been painted and it's like a box since all you see are the four walls with nothing built out within the walls. I searched Wikipedia for the term Vanilla Box and nothing comes up.

When a business owner is negotiating a lease for space in an office building or any commercial building, it's important to know the state in which the space he is leasing is going to be delivered. If the landlord uses the term "vanilla box", it will be up to the tenant to pay for paint, flooring, any built-in cabinetry or counter tops, and anything else that is custom to the particular tenant's business.

Typically a vanilla box office will have sheet rock walls ready for paint, a drop ceiling or a finished sheet rock ceiling depending on the building, a concrete floor ready for the installation of carpet or some other type of flooring, a bathroom (again, no paint here either), and usually the lights and plugs are installed. Anything else will be done at the expense of the tenant. Sometimes the landlord will give the tenant an allowance for construction improvements with the cost of the improvements being added to the base rent.

Now it should go without saying but I'll say it anyways, if a business owner is considering leasing office space or purchasing commercial property, the first thing that he should do is contact a commercial real estate professional to represent his interests. There are many other issues that come up in a real estate negotiation and there are many other real estate terms you need to know before you start lease negotiations and having professional representation by a buyer's agent will ensure the business owners questions are answered and he gets the best deal possible.

Are you interested in finding out more about leasing office space in Leominster? Check out these other posts...

Leominster Commercial Real Estate - Office Space For Lease Part 1

Leominster Commercial Real Estate - Office Space For Lease Part 2

Leominster Commercial Real Estate - Office Space For Lease Part 3

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