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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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Office building with exterior access only retail space on First floor

Justin Smith
Fanelli McClain
December 2, 2015

I am measuring a first floor retail space in a mult-tenant, multi-story office building. The first floor has a typical lobby, loading dock and other misc. building service areas to which the retail tenant has no access. The retail space is accessed only from the exterior of the building and has its own separate entrance for shipping and receiving. Should the lobby, loading dock and any other building service areas that are not accessible by the retail tenant be excluded from the rentable square footage calculation?

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
December 3, 2015

Hi Justin,

The BOMA 2010 Office standard does not make any provisions for the scenario you are describing. If the retail space is part of an office building and the primary use of the building is office, than the retail occupant is treated the same as any other occupant. However, many landlords will simply not apply the load factor to retail tenants in an office building, but the BOMA area analysis still must include the retail areas; otherwise, excluding retail would increase the other occupant's load factors.

Another option to consider is using the BOMA mixed-use standard, in which case you would effectively be using the Office Standard for the office component and the Retail Standard for the retail component. It's a bit complicated to apply however as it also includes MUCA areas (Mixed-Use Common Areas). You also have to consider if the mixed-use standard is appropriate for your building. The mixed-use standard offers a guideline to determining this. For example, it states;

"If a property contains only one primary use (not considering parking), apply the appropriate single-use BOMA standard, except in the following circumstances:

In a property containing multiple uses that are configured to function independently from each other with minimal shared services, apply this
mixed-use standard."

There is an entire list of requirements that you will want to read (which I cannot provide to you here) if you were considering going with the mixed-use standard.

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