Lease Consultant -- Define Needs

It is vital to establish present and future space requirements before you embark on your search. The physical size and core configuration of an office will shape your corporate culture and affect employee efficiency. There are many considerations to be made during the space selection process.

Measuring Space

There are various methods to measure space in the New York City real estate market. It is important to understand the different concepts because costs vary according to the method of measuring space. (Please also refer to our Glossary for further explanation.)

New York City Standard of Measure
In New York City there is no absolute standard of measurement. There is no conversion formula or chart that can accurately plot the measurements of the landlords’ “rubber rulers.”
Carpetable Square Feet
The total floor space one can actually carpet or use to accommodate people and furniture.
Usable Square Feet
The area under the exclusive control of, and for the exclusive use by, the tenant.
Common Area
The tenant’s assigned share of areas used by all tenants or owners such as the lobby, corridors and bathrooms are added on a pro-rata basis to the tenant’s space.
Rentable Square Feet
RSF is the total floor space that may be rented to tenants; it is the area upon which rental payments are based. It includes usable space and common areas.
Loss Factor
The numerical difference between rentable and usable area, expressed as a percentage. Currently, loss factors between 22% and 30% are considered acceptable. Generally, a loss factor under 20% is a very efficient building.
Add-On Factor
Factor used to translate usable area to rentable area, calculated as common area divided by usable area.
Concept Formula Example(1)
Rentable Sq. Ft. Common + Usable 500 + 2,000 = 2500
Loss Factor Common / Rentable 500 / 2,500 = 20%
Add-On Factor Common / Usable 500 / 2,000 = 25%
(1) For this example, Common = 500 Sq. Ft. and Usable = 2,000 Sq. Ft.
Remember: Carpetable ≤ Usable ≤ Rentable
Retail Measurements
Retail space is considered the actual amount of usable space; the loss factor is excluded because the space is leased as a self-contained unit. Therefore the space excludes any lobbies, common corridors, or shared bathrooms.
Core Configuration

Core configuration identifies the location of a building's mechanical center, which houses the elevator banks, emergency staircase, plumbing, electricity, and HVAC. Two types of core configurations are common: side core and center core. The side core configuration allows for more open area in the middle, such as a newsroom. The center core configuration permits more traditional office uses, such as a law firm.

Side Core Configuration

Center Core Configuration
Floor Plate Size

A floor plate is a diagram that represents the structure and core configuration of a building's entire floor. The size of the floor plate becomes important when determining the interactive flow between your company's divisions. This analysis will identify the size of floor plate you will need and the required proximities of the different divisions for your business to operate efficiently.

Space Planner

Use our space planner to help assess your company's space needs. Complete fields with your estimates for offices, cubicles, conference rooms and other areas. The planner will calculate your total square footage by adding up the areas you have selected, taking into account all add-on factors.

Options for Future Space Needs

In real estate leases, an option is the right of first consideration. The most common options negotiated are the option to expand, contract, renew, or cancel. These options give the tenant flexibility and, therefore, will be a cost to the tenant. Remember, there wording of options is full with subtleties so consult your advisor and real estate attorney before you sign or renew a lease.

Fractional Office Space

Fractional office space is intended to provide a new or existing company with ready-to-go offices on demand. Arrangements are made via leasing agreements and are usually on a month-to-month term. Services include, but are not limited to, office space, furniture, telecommunication equipment, conference facilities, training rooms, and office support systems.


Incubators provide immediate space and guidance to foster a new company’s growth. Typically, this service is provided for a portion of the company’s stock. Incubators provide space and services, such as advising new companies on writing business plans, marketing, legal issues and management structure.