Boston Class B Office Space
When it comes to office space, striking a balance between quality and price can be daunting. That's especially true in a competitive commercial real estate market like Boston's, where vacancy rates are at historic lows and rent prices continue to rise from one month to the next. If you need quality office space in the city but don't have the kind of budget that's needed for premium, Class A space, Class B space is a viable and practical alternative. In fact, there is more Class B office space than any other type in the city, so it's probably the "easiest" to find. With that being said, you should never go it alone when seeking commercial real estate in Boston. With help from Boston City Properties, you'll find something great in no time.
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What is Class B Office Space?
As you've probably surmised by now, Class B office space is a "step down" from Class A. To many, however, it's more than just a step down. True, the gap between what you get with Class A and Class B can be large; it can be pretty slim too, though. The price savings are often considerable, and most companies realize that devoting less of their budget to office space is a wise move.
Some of the most common characteristics of Class B office space include:
- Age - Class B buildings tend to be older than Class A, or they at least may not be quite as updated or maintained. However, the vast majority of them have been built within the last 20 years or so. It should be noted that there are exceptions; even if a building is quite old, it may qualify as Class B or even A with the right renovations, modernization and so on.
- Height - These buildings are never skyscrapers. At the very most, they may be mid-rises. In fact, the vast majority stand four stories or less.
- Quality - Though these buildings are nice, they lack the impressive lobbies and other high-end touches that dominate their Class A counterparts. Their architecture tends to be less distinctive, and the overall quality of the building is a pretty big step down from what you'll find in Class As.
- Infrastructure - The infrastructure in these buildings is usually aging, and there tends to be at least some noticeable deterioration. However, everything still functions properly, and systems tend to be fairly efficient. It is rare to find Class B office space with LEED certification.
- Location - This type of office space tends to be located just outside of "ground zero" of central business districts. In Boston, then, this means that it is usually found in the immediate vicinity of the soaring skyscrapers of downtown as well as in neighborhoods that are much further afield. This is another reason why Class B tends to be more popular--it is more widely available and accessible. You don't have to uproot your company to the Financial District to find it, in other words.
- Management - Most Class B buildings are managed by professional property management firms. However, these firms don't tend to provide quite as high-level service as what is found at Class A properties. Management might let things slide more or may not be quite as responsive.
- Construction and Finishings - While there's nothing usually wrong with the quality of the construction or finishings of a Class B building, it isn't usually nearly as upscale as what is found in Class A buildings. Construction is solid but no-frills. Finishings are more practical than decorative.
Where to Find
As mentioned throughout this article, this type of office space is the most readily available and widespread in the city. You can find some sort of Class B office space in any neighborhood. Of course, you will pay more or less depending on the neighborhood and exact location. Essentially, the closer that you are to true Class A properties, the more you are apt to pay. Since these buildings are found just about everywhere in the city and surrounding areas, it is easier for companies of many budgets to find what they need. Oftentimes, companies start out by looking at Class A options and then eventually move down to Class B after realizing that the extra cost just isn't justified.
Pricing for Class B office space tends to vary a great deal. However, it also tends to be significantly less than what you will pay for Class A space. Most recently, the average price per square foot for space like this was around $20. Note that that's the average price. Many offices will cost far more than that, and many others will cost far less than that. As always, factors like location, amenities and quality all play a role in how much you can expect to pay. Just know that regardless of your budget, you should be able to find something--especially with Boston City Properties' help.
With all of that being said, rents for Class B offices have been rising steadily of late. In fact, over the last three years, they have shot up by 32 percent. In some low rises, rents are as high as what is being paid on the lower floors of Class A buildings, which was simply unheard of only a handful of years ago. On the higher end of the scale, rents for Class B offices have been averaging closer to $45 per square foot.
New Class B buildings are always going up around the city. Since they are usually four stories or less in height, they tend to spring up a lot more quickly than Class A buildings. It is also much easier to renovate, rehab or even repurpose older Class B buildings, and that happens quite a lot as well. It's also pretty common for much older buildings to be extensively modernized and remodeled and turned into highly desirable Class B offices. Thanks to the ongoing construction of these properties, prices tend to fluctuate less dramatically.
Vacancy rates for these buildings aren't as low as for Class A, but they aren't great for those who need office space, either. There tends to be more availability for these types of offices, but companies still often struggle to locate suitable space. Whether vacancy rates are up or down, Boston City Properties can help you find Class B office space in Boston that suits your budget and other requirements. Don't compromise or settle for something that isn't right for your business. Connect with our experts to ensure a smooth, easy time.
How Boston City Properties Can Help
At Boston City Properties, we know how stressful it can be to locate suitable Class B office space in Boston. Fortunately, we offer a vast, searchable online database of MA real estate listings, and we'll give you free access right away. Just complete and submit the simple signup form on this page. Once you have access, you can use the search tool to zero in on options that suit your needs. First, select the area or areas of the city where you'd like to focus your search. Next, use the search filters to limit your search to properties that suit your needs in terms of size, price and other attributes.
As an added bonus, we have connections with experienced and talented commercial real estate agents in neighborhoods throughout the city. When the time is right, contact us to be put in touch with such a professional. They can field questions that you may have about properties on your list, take you to look at office space in person, help you out during negotiations and assist you all the way through the signing of the lease. Why go it alone when you can be backed up by such great resources and services? Don't waste lots of time and effort searching for Class B office space in Boston. Contact Boston City Properties for more information.