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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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Inclusion of Portion of non-Adjacent Electrical Room in Square Footage Calculation

Amy Hall
January 18, 2011

I am disputing my retail space square footage calculation because my lease says that the square footage is calculated as such:

outside of exterior walls and from the centerline of the interior demising walls plus any mezzanine within the Premises.

However, the landlord has tacked on an additional 100 square feet to my square footage because he says its my portion of an electrical room. There is nothing in my lease that mentions this electrical room square footage as part of my square footage calculation. However, the landlord is saying that is "Standard BOMA" measurement to include it.

If I had measurements performed by an independent measurement company, would they automatically include the electrical room as part of the standard? Or is it optional to include it. My guess is its optional and the terms of the lease should spell that out. But I would like an objective opinion on the subject.

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
January 18, 2011

Hi Amy,

There are a few variables at play here. First, what type of building is it? Is it a commercial office building with a portion of retail in it, or is it predominantly a retail building such as a mall or plaza.

If it's a commercial office building, then BOMA Office Standards (either BOMA 1996 or 2010) would allocate a proportionate share of common area to every tenanted space in the building. 100 square feet is a suspiciously even number, but not impossible.

If it's a retail building, then the BOMA 2010 Retail Standard would apply. Under this standard, there is not normally an allocation of common area within a Gross Leasable Area (GLA) calculation. Food courts however, are a possible exception.

Lastly, if your lease does not explicitly cite a BOMA Standard, and prescribes it's own methodology (as you have described), then I question the very application of BOMA Standards over and beyond your lease language in the first place.

Amy Hall
January 18, 2011

The building I am in is purely retail. There are other building, planned, yet not developed in the same center that will have office space. Since my building is purely retail, it would seem it should fall under the Retail standards. Or can the landlord claim because the entire center will have a mix of office space and retail building, that the office standards apply?

There is no mention of a specific BOMA standard in the lease. When I questioned why their calculation results in a different number than my general contractor and architect have calculated, they just respond with we are using "BOMA Standard Measurement" as a means to their calculation is correct. Since I am not familiar with the standards, your response is very helpful.

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
January 18, 2011

The BOMA Retail Standard is still quite new and some landlords may not be fully aware of it, whereas BOMA Office Standards have been around for a long time. The result is that some landlords wrongly apply office standards to retail buildings.

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