10 Tips for Leasing Warehouse Space
Leasing warehouse space rather than purchasing a building or funding a construction project can be a smart move for your company, especially if you are uncertain that you will remain in the same location for the long term.
Here are 10 tips for anyone interested in leasing warehouse space:
1. Think in 3D.
When you are renting an office space, you normally only consider the square footage of units to ensure that you have enough room for your team. For warehouse space, it is important to think beyond the lengths and widths of the rooms. Pay attention to the cubic square footage, which includes the ceiling height as well. You will need to ensure that the ceilings of the spaces you're considering are tall enough to accommodate machinery and equipment.
2. Know the floor load.
No matter how high the ceiling is there’s always a floor down below. If your warehouse operation necessitates using heavy equipment or products, then you need to find out how much weight the slab foundation can handle without being damaged. And for obvious reasons, a level floor is very important if you will be stacking items.
3. Evaluate the electrical capacity.
Warehouses are often not wired the same as homes or offices. Therefore, you need to make sure the electrical power is sufficient for the equipment and machinery you need to run. An electrical engineer can be hired to evaluate the building.
4. Check the HVAC systems.
Warehouses do not necessarily have HVAC throughout the building. Nor do they always have systems that maintain a comfortable 70-degree temperature 24/7. Then again, you may not need such a carefully controlled climate. Ensure that the warehouse you are considering has the kind of heating and cooling system you need. A certified HVAC technician can inspect the units. If upgrades or repairs are needed, then you will want to negotiate those with the landlord before signing a lease.
5. Consider logistics.
Before signing a lease, be sure to think about what types of materials will be going in and out of your warehouse space. What types of trucks are used to transport them and is there enough room for them to maneuver around the building? You should also evaluate the loading dock area to determine how easily you will be able to move materials in and out of the facility.
6. Put safety first.
Workplace safety is always a top priority, but it is especially important in warehouse facilities. Be sure that the space you are renting complies with all federal and state safety standards for your particular line of business. In addition, you should double check that the fire suppression and ventilation systems are up to code and in good repair. Security is another important consideration. What types of systems are in place to protect your team and your property?
7. Brush up on local ordinances.
Many communities have strict rules regarding what types of industrial operations can be conducted in various parts of their borders. Before signing the lease, be sure that the area you are considering is properly zoned for your line of business to avoid major hassles and the risk of costly fines.
8. Consider the commute (and parking).
How convenient will your new location be for your team? If you are considering a location in a remote area, you may want to conduct a survey to find out if your employees rely on public transportation that may not be easily accessible. Take the time to consider your team's parking needs and then assess whether this location provides ample parking. If you're looking at a spot in an industrial complex, will your company have designated spaces or a private lot? If not, plan to visit the shared parking lot at different times of the day to see how many spaces are available.
9. Investigate operating costs.
As you look at different warehouses, consider what it will actually cost to operate the space. Find out what fees and expenses are your responsibility in addition to rent. Also, determine up front whether you or the landlord will pay for needed upkeep or repairs.
10. Read the lease carefully.
It’s important to read over the lease carefully, because a leasing agreement for industrial space is not like one for a store or office. A commercial real estate broker who is familiar with industrial leasing can help you understand all of the terms and avoid unnecessary costs.
Are you considering leasing a warehouse facility in the next 6 months? Contact us today at 786-433-2380. We’d be happy to walk you through the process and begin to search for properties depending on your specific needs.