We all know that different areas of the world have unique characteristics. While you’ll see commonalities between the office spaces in California’s vast conference rooms and the office spaces in London (or any large city), New York City presents a unique set of challenges
Looking for office space in New York City can be overwhelming, due to the constant need among companies and business people. It might seem that space is snatched up as soon as it is available on the market. You may also find that available space is much smaller than that you could find in other locations.
However, even if you are rushed in your search and need a site right away, we recommend these five things you should look for in a New York office space to give yourself the best possible start in your new space.
Going from the meatpacking district to a small office space in Brookyln, we know all the ins and outs of the New York commercial system.
When you are considering an office space for your business, you want to pay specific attention to the location you are settling into. You want it to be accessible to your employees, but also easy for prospective clients and customers to find.
As you ponder the best area to search in for your next office space, consider the following elements:
- Proximity to public transportation
- Appropriate space for signage
- Commercial area within the city
- Adequate parking nearby
These components will help you bring in customers and empower your staff. It is likely that if you are within an area that is removed from most of the businesses and amenities of the city, your employees and customers will be reluctant to travel such a distance.
While considering your location, you will also want to think about your cultural fit within the city. This is especially important in places like New York, where you will often find different business clusters throughout the city that cater to specific cultures or needs.
Case in point: you don’t want to move your office space to an area where you will primarily find ongoing construction and musical schools, like midtown. You may not be able to put all of your attention towards your work with all the noise going on around you.
Almost all modern careers require access to the internet. But not all neighborhoods have the same level of speed or ability to accommodate many users at one time (at least the NYC library’s internet can carry the online needs of the city’s residents). Therefore, you must evaluate the infrastructure of the neighborhood before leasing to know if the space will work.
In addition, you will want to know if your space comes with dedicated internet access or if you are looped into a building-wide service. This may not seem important at first, but if your company deals with secure documents, you will want to have dedicated access to avoid those outside of your organization gaining entry to that information.
To summarize, you will want to ask questions about the following technological components of the space you are considering for lease:
- Internet speed
- Usage limits
- Dedicated internet or shared
- Server capabilities
- Internet security measures
Your technological needs will vary significantly based on the premise of your business and the impact that internet use has on your workflow.
Safety and Security
As a whole, New York City has a high level of crime committed daily. However, the crime rates in NYC aren’t as high as other cities, such as St. Louis. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the safety of the area around the office space you are considering leasing as well as what security mechanisms are in place.
At a minimum, you should ensure that the building you are seeking to be in has the following:
- Security system
- Working locks on all doors
- Evacuation plans
- Unique keys or key cards for all office buildings
Additional security features to consider are whether there is an on-site security guard, landlines with direct access to security or 911, lock changes between tenants, and individual key cards for each staff member.
Planning For the Future
While it may not currently be on your mind, you need to consider your company’s future while you are presently searching for office space. Although your dreams may currently entail things on a smaller level, there’s no telling what the next few years may bring.
In the event that you undergo massive growth, you will want to make sure that your proposed space can account for it. You can attempt to have assurances of this in the following ways:
- Is there a larger space I can move into later on?
- Are there areas like conference rooms that I can utilize as office space in the future?
- Am I able to make two smaller office spaces into one large one for my team?
In the end, what you’re hoping to avoid is having to move your entire office after a short period. This occurrence is frustrating for your staff and interrupts your daily business processes, but it can also be problematic for retaining your customers and clients.
Value For Your Money
While snatching up an address and office on one of the hottest streets in Manhattan may be enticing, you also want to be mindful of how much you get for what you pay. If the amount you spend on one block gets you a measly 300 square feet, but you can have two or three times that space two streets over for the same amount, you may want to consider if location or cost are more important.
In addition, consider the local amenities you are privy to with each location. While you may get a small space in Brooklyn, access to a building-wide gym or cafeteria may be worth the smaller square footage. You may also want to consider additional upgrades like an on-site security guard in this equation.
At times, you can find available space in complexes specifically built for commercial use. But you may find that there are people living in apartments above your space, especially in the Upper East Side. This setup can cause its own set of issues with noise and accessibility.
If you are looking to be in the company of other businesses and avoid the quiet-down taps from an upstairs neighbor, then consider a complex like Clock Tower Commons. While it’s a bit outside the city, you’ll have easy access and ample, spacious office accommodations. It is also easily accessible by train, an important aspect to consider when selecting an office location within the city.
Tips For Finding Work Space in NYC
While we outlined many contributing factors to finding appropriate office space in New York City, there are a few other important things to consider in your search.
Do You Need Designated Office Space At All?
Many small businesses or solo entrepreneurs can get away with a coworking space. A coworking space gives you a place away from home to get your work done with all the typical office amenities (often for a lower price).
You can choose to work there daily or a few times a week or month. There are many options to choose from, and they will vary depending on what coworking environment you choose. One thing to note is that it isn’t a permanent location for you. Therefore, you won’t be able to leave personal effects or files in the space that you use.
Have You Considered Being Near Parks?
If you have employees that will be occupying your business space along with you, entertain the idea of being near a park (Central or otherwise).
Working in close quarters with one another in a small space can lead employees to suffer tension and burnout. But people will find respite in retreating to a nearby park or green space during breaks or lunch. It’s a unique perk that’s good to consider when working in a highly urban environment like New York City.
Do You Have Help Picking a Space?
Navigating the leasing of office space, especially in New York City, isn’t a task you want to take on by yourself. There are many agents and realtors who are willing and able to assist you in finding the perfect space.
These individuals often and know about upcoming listings before making them public. Partnering with one can make your experience much less stressful and more productive. They are also more likely to have neighborhood expertise and can speak to the advantages of each borough, neighborhood, or even building.
Depending on where you reside in the world, the journey of finding office space will vary. In New York, you will be up against fast-paced timing, small square footage, and varying amenities. While this isn’t the case in all of New York state, it is when you are searching within New York City.
Whether it’s proximity to public transportation, access to parks and green space, availability for expansion, or tremendous value, there are many things to consider. As you navigate this process, be sure to reference our list to ensure you’re on the right track. Being individuals who have been there before, we want to make the experience as stress-free for you as possible with the information we have learned.
Michael is a property manager at Clock Tower Commons. Passionate about real estate, Michael shares his opinions, knowledge, and experience on an array of topics, including property management, marketing, and leasing. When out of the office, he enjoys lake days and gardening.