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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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Elevator Lobby

Guest User
Guest Company
November 3, 2009

Under either BOMA 80 or 96, by definition, can the elevator lobby on a typical floor be included as Usable area on a single tenant floor?

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
November 3, 2009

Yes it can, but the elevator lobby must be able (by code) to house personnel and furniture.


23.Q: On a single tenant floor, are the elevator lobby
and restrooms considered Usable Area?

A: The BOMA Standard defines Usable Area as
space that tenants can actually occupy and use and
may allocate to house personnel and furniture. Thus,
if an elevator lobby is under the tenant’s control and
could be put to use (as a reception area, for
instance), it is Usable Area. However, if the tenant
cannot use that space because of fire code or other
restrictions, it is not Usable Area. Restrooms are not
considered Usable Area under the Standard, although
they are part of Rentable Area."

Typically, Extreme Measures treats elevator lobbies as common area unless asked to allocate it to Usable Tenant Area because it doesn't actually change the rentable area of the floor as the single tenant will be allocated 100% of the floor common area anyway. Also, elevator lobbies aren't often used to house personnel or furniture because they are too narrow and doing so would restrict accessibility. Finally, if the floor were to become multi-tenanted in the future, the gross-up increases dramatically with the inclusion of the lobby and new corridor as Floor Common Area. We find this causes problems with leasing and accounting practices.

Ian Marksbury
First Beverage Group
May 22, 2012

I have a single tenant office building we are buying outside of Chicago with subterranean parking. There is an elevator lobby in the parking area, with finished floor and seating. The walls separating the elevator lobby are just 42" tall. Can that area be included in the rentable square footage for the building?

Thank you.

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
May 23, 2012


We would not typically include unenclosed spaces in the rentable area. Because the surrounding parking is not counted as rentable, it basically doesn't exist, and your elevator lobby needs full-height walls in order to determine dominant portion. If you decide to include this space anyway, make sure that it is well documented and/or disclaimed.

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