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Rental Trends: What To Consider When Renting Office Space

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This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a local property management firm that specializes in residential real estate, commercial real estate and homeowner associations. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.

Good office space isn’t hard to find, if you know what to look for. The D.C. real estate market is extremely competitive, which puts tenants at an advantage because landlords will be more willing to work with you to meet your needs.

Check out the following factors to consider when looking to rent office space in the D.C. area.

Lease Terms

Unlike residential leases, commercial tenants are allowed to work with landlords to come up with a lease structure that works for them. If you’re looking to open a retail business, you may want to do some renovation, so it’s critical to have a lease that allows you to do that. Be aware of the different types of commercial leases and have a lawyer review the lease with you before signing.


D.C. has some of the worst traffic in the country. Is your space in a heavily congested area? If so, is it Metro accessible? If customers and employees cannot easily get to your location, you’ll find yourself in an empty office. It may be worth the higher rent to find an office space that is convenient to the Metro and offers off-street parking.

Urban vs. Suburban

Your business will likely work in both urban and suburban areas, but there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Urban areas have more foot traffic and higher-income clientele, but rents are way more expensive than the suburbs.

Foot Traffic

Retail businesses will want a substantial amount of passersby in order to attract as many customers as possible. If considering space in a shopping center, check out the anchor stores and ask other tenants how much business they do just from people walking by.


Is your office easy to find? What about amenities? Many mixed use office-spaces include little extras that attract employees such as on-site daycare, restaurants and even dry cleaners. Choose a space that is convenient for yourself and employees.


While the city is extremely walkable, there are some suburban areas that are not. This may not be an important factor for your business but if it is, take into account the lay of the land and make sure that it is safe for people traveling by foot.

With the amount of choices available, finding an office space can be overwhelming. If you’re unsure of what’s best for your business, contact the commercial property experts at Gordon James Realty. We’d be happy to help.

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