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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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Outside Areas/Overhangs/Loading Docks

Jon Wise
RRJ Wise Real Estate LLC
May 25, 2023

Hello, I have a question about a retail property I am interested in.

The property is located in a plaza. Directly outside the storefront there is a sidewalk covered by the roof of the building. The building owner claims the sidewalk is usable square footage to the tenant and therefore is included in the leasable square footage of the building, around 500 SF.

Additionally, there is an outside loading dock in the back of the building. The dock is covered by the roof of the building but is not enclosed on the sides. There is an area next to the dock that is also partially covered by a roof but not enclosed otherwise. The owner includes this entire space (350 SF) in the leasable square footage as well.

I am looking for clarification on whether the current BOMA standard includes or excludes these areas in the rentable area of the building. In other words, would a tenant be responsible for these outside areas in the agreed upon price/sf?

Thank you for taking my question.

David Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
May 29, 2023

Hi Jon,

The BOMA 2020 Retail Standard utilizes a concept known as the "Retail Experience" to establish what Enclosed and Unenclosed Areas may be included in the Boundary Area of the property. Retail Experience is defined as:

"The Fully Enclosed, Partially Enclosed, and Unenclosed Areas of a Retail Property which are critical to the overall design, character, ambience, safety, movement and enjoyment of its Occupants and Customers within the shopping environment."

After the Boundary Area is established, it's matter of determining what areas are Service and Public Areas and which are Occupant Areas. Only the Occupant Areas would be included in an Occupant's Gross Leasable Area. Occupant Areas is defined as:

"all of the Enclosed Areas and Unenclosed Areas that an Occupant has Exclusive Use of; including, but not limited to, Permanent Patios, Balconies, Finished Rooftop Terraces, Dedicated Restrooms, Occupant Storage Areas, Occupant Circulation Areas, Occupant Voids, and Occupant Shafts."

Basically, any areas that are part of the Retail Experience and that an Occupant has Exclusive Use of would be included as Gross Leasable Area, whether it is Unenclosed or Enclosed Area.

Loading Docks are generally categorized as Service and Public Area unless it is exclusive to a tenant. There are no common area allocations to Occupant Areas in the BOMA Retail Standard, so a proportionate share of Service and Public Areas cannot be applied to Occupant's Gross Leasable Area.

I hope this helps.


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