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This help desk is a free resource intended for discussion purposes only. Neither BOMA, its chapters, affiliates, or Extreme Measures Inc.® are responsible for the information, comments or opinions expressed herein. For complete information, refer to the official publications of the standards themselves.

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Single tenant building with a basement break room and storage

Lenka Keith
Lenka Keith
March 28, 2012

I am an appraiser needing to establish market rent for a two-story, single tenant bank branch building with a full basement. It was leased to the current tenant 25 years ago with no rentable area specified; the lease defines the premises as the parcel along with all improvements on the parcel.

The windowless basement has a small finished break room, and the rest of the basement consists of a large (but walled-off) storage area in the center of the basement, wide corridors along the perimeter of the storage (the perimeter of the basement), and some mechanical and electrical areas on one end of the basement. The storage, corridors and mechanical/electrical areas have bare concrete floors, painted drywall ceilings with exposed conduit and HVAC ducts, painted drywall walls. Standard ceiling height.

The lease is coming up for a renewal, and I need to determine what square footage should be used in calculating monthly rent. Our local market suggests using different rental rates for the ground floor, second floor, and basement. My problem is that I am not sure how to handle the basement, more specifically the corridors, mechanical and electrical rooms. Should they all be counted in the rentable area of this single-tenant building? The corridors serve no useful purpose because they were created as a by-product of demising the storage, which the tenant is not using.

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
March 28, 2012

Hi Lenka,

If you want to use BOMA Standards, you need to determine the appropriate Standard for the job. If the building is standalone and single tenant, then the Gross Areas Standard is probably the easiest to apply and yields the most area from the building. In this case, you would use Exterior Gross Area (EGA) as your metric. If the building is multi-tenant and mostly office, than the BOMA Office Standard (either 1996 or 2010 version) will divide the tenants and allocate common areas proportionately. Alternatively, if the building is primarily retail in nature, the BOMA Retail Standard is good, but will yield the smallest area, as there is no common area allocation to speak of. In the case of retail, common ammenity fees are usually captured via CAM charges instead of by calculated area. With any of these BOMA Standards, the basement likely qualifies for inclusion as Rentable Area.

All the BOMA Standards are available for purchase at www.boma.org.

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