It is an enviable skill to look at a basic, shabby or otherwise unattractive piece of property and see all that it can be. Interior designers and architects make a living because they can see what others can’t – and help bring it to fruition.
In Redding’s current market we are seeing low levels of new construction, which means that potential lessees and buyers need to have a good eye for how to make existing space fit their needs and exceed their expectations.
As a commercial realtor, one of the frustrating experiences we often have is to find an “ideal fit” for a client’s needs and have them pass up the opportunity because it looks outdated or unattractive. The important items such as construction quality, generally functional floor plan, price and size must be there. But few realize that there is so much more to be done with properties than changing carpet and paint color.
In my opinion this happens primarily because a prospective buyer or tenant cannot visualize the space differently than its current state. This is a challenge to all of us, but having seen some phenomenal transformations in our line of work- we may have a slight advantage. One very noteworthy example is Dr. Coronado’s office at 2126 Eureka Way – the Northern Heart and Vascular Institute. You can see the effect of updating the hallway entering his office. The feel of this space changes from outdated and worn to comfortable, refined and high-end. Within, the difference is even more amazing.
In regards to visualizing, I highly recommend meeting with an interior designer or architect who is strong in interior design. The decorator for Dr. Coronado’s office, Jacque Grubbs of Jacque’s Design Studio, is a fantastic example of these skilled individuals who can help you figure out how to make a space look and feel the way you want it to as well as what it will take to get there.
Lighting, wall texture, counter tops and finishes all lend themselves to improving your work environment. But you may be surprised how cost effective and useful it can be to remove or add walls, shift doorways and change out windows.
Of course this will cost money – and the question usually is: “Who is paying for it?” The answer varies. In leasing situations some landlords are willing to invest in substantial tenant improvements for a long term, quality tenant – especially if the changes improve the space for the future. In other cases the tenant is willing to invest in customizing their work space.
Either way, consulting professionals is imperative. They have the experience and knowledge to estimate costs for contractors and materials as well as provide realistic timelines.
The benefit of investing in your workspace is clear. We spend a majority of our waking hours in our work environments so it important to be comfortable. Beyond ourselves we are providing the same benefit to our coworkers and clients. Finally, a well-executed renovation will only improve the value of the property itself.
Although this may not be the right choice for everyone, I urge you to consider carefully the potential of each building or space you look at. You might just find a diamond in the rough!
About Jessica Whitlow
Jessica is a licensed commercial real estate salesperson. She has lived in Shasta County for 13 years and has worked in Real Estate and Property Management starting in 2008 in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Redding. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her background in escrow coordination and as a property manager of 200-300 unit multifamily properties allows her to contribute to Haedrich & Co.’s real estate representations and analysis, as well as their property management portfolio. Jessica is strongly committed to providing the highest quality customer service and professional integrity to her clients.