Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trinity Capital Advisors to offer pre-built suites to attract tenants to Ally Center in uptown

The folks at Trinity Partners are trying a new approach to attracting office tenants.

They are building out office spaces in their uptown Ally Center, getting them move-in ready for prospective tenants. They are installing modern, upscale finishes such as bamboo flooring and glass tile, the developer says. Conference rooms and break areas will also have upgraded finishes.        

Traditionally, office tenants sign leases for unfinished spaces and work with landlords to build-out the area.

The owners of the 15-story Ally Center decided to offer finished units to cater to smaller tenants who wanted space immediately, said Gary Chesson, a partner with Trinity Capital Advisors, a real estate investment firm that developed the office building and has an ownership stake.

 “We are trying to pioneer this concept here in the downtown area,” Chesson said. “Many smaller tenants...don’t want to wait for the six-month process of negotiating terms, then signing a lease document, then doing drawings, pricing and permitting and finally building the space.”

In all, the building at 440 S. Church Street has 130,000 square feet available on five floors.  Trinity plans to offer roughly 19,000 square-feet of pre-built space: 3,500 square feet on the second floor, 11,400 square feet on the third floor and 3,200 square feet on the 8th floor.

The building, completed in 2009, will be able to accommodate tenants ranging from 2,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. The larger space can also be configured to extend to 26,000 square feet, Chesson said.

Pricing will range from $23 a square foot to $24 a square foot, depending on the tenant's size.

In the past, pre-built offices were seen by some as inferior because they involved leftover pockets of space and low-quality finishes, such as basic carpet.

Attitudes are changing, say people involved in commercial real estate. These days, more companies are attracted to pre-built space if they have nice finishes. The interest is coming from companies that don’t have the time or the cash to endure the construction process, which can last half a year.

Last year, a growing number of New York landlords got involved in the pre-built business, offering space with granite and marble finishes, stainless-steel appliances, and coffee bars, the New York Times has reported.

Chesson said the building is getting nibbles from tenants and that his company has agreed to lease a small portion of one of the suites to a law firm. He said he couldn’t provide details because the lease wasn’t yet signed.

"It's working already," Chesson said of the pre-built concept. "This was a firm that needed space by June 30 but couldn't find a layout they liked in the market, and this was going to be ready to go when they needed it."   


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