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Common Area Definition and Occupant Voids

john gutri
fairhall moffatt & woodland limited
April 9, 2014

Tenant has installed mechanical equipment in separate rooms for servicing their own lease space (basement gymnasium in a shopping mall). They consider these part of Common Area because they have defined these spaces as mechanical rooms and want them removed from their GLA, but that doesn't seem right.

Also, they have identified three stair wells which only service their space into the basement as Major Vertical Penetrations. Also doesn't seem right but I suppose an argument can be made.

How should these areas be correctly defined?

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
April 15, 2014

Hi John,

The BOMA Retail Standard defines GLA as "The total enclosed floor area designed for the EXCLUSIVE use of an occupant, including any basements, mezzanines or upper floors."

Exclusive is the operative word here. If the area in question meets this condition, then certainly it should be captured as part of the tenant's GLA. Unfortunately there is no language to support the concept of partially occupied or shared-use mechanical rooms. Of course, you can still try to negotiate the space into the tenant's lease, however this would be outside of the BOMA framework.

With respect the stairs, if they serve fire egress, building access, or building service functions, then they should be classified as Major Vertical Penetrations (and omitted from GLA). If on the other hand, these stairs can be reasonably removed without affecting building performance, and exist solely for the tenant's benefit, then they are Occupant Voids and are excluded from GLA.

I hope this helps.

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