Using data to navigate office space construction costs

Building out office space can be overwhelming – not to mention expensive.

This year, for example, we estimate that even basic fit-outs for traditional office space in San Francisco will run $173.74 per square foot for the average user. That’s for a design based on a simple, low-cost budget with finishes focused on function over quality and containing basic technology and aesthetic design.

Traditional vs complex

With the average tenant improvement allowance in the market just $60 per s.f. for tenants committing to a seven year lease, that leaves more than $100 per s.f. for the average traditional office user – a law or financial firm, for example — to shell-out for basic space.

For those seeking more complex office fit-outs in San Francisco, these costs can catapult. Projects of medium quality and complexity – such as those with upgraded lighting, cabling and some structural changes using average quality materials — the per square foot cost rises to more than $219. And, out-of-pocket costs for the highest finish space – using high quality materials and finishes and with extra effort spent on aesthetics and design –are estimated to be more than $266.

Small choices, big dollars

So many decisions need to be made, from office layout and space allocation to the quality of finishes and amount of design work, in order to get the most out of your project dollar. To make these decisions less daunting, we’ve harnessed our business intelligence data in order to bring you the U.S. and Canada Office Fit Out Guide, a report that compares build out costs across different office style and space qualities in order to give tenants a sense of how seemingly small choices can affect the bottom line in a big way.

If you’re looking for private offices rather than an open floor plan and you’re leaning towards a more refined aesthetic, a traditional office style may be just the right fit for your organization. For more information on how location, office style and space design can impact the cost of your office build out, check out our 2018 U.S. and Canada Office Fit Out Guide.