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This help desk is a free resource intended for discussion purposes only. Neither BOMA, its chapters, affiliates, or Extreme Measures Inc.® are responsible for the information, comments or opinions expressed herein. For complete information, refer to the official publications of the standards themselves.

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Commercial Sq/Meter Question

Eric Withers
Equity Focus Group
May 11, 2010

I was referred to you by Mr. Tyree at BOMA. I have a business transaction that is using BOMA standards. My partners in the project are long time members and swear by your standards. I have a copy of all your most recent publications and standards that have been issued, and it is still not 100% clear to me. I hope you can provide me some clarity.

My project concerns the retail, ground floor space of a Commercial Office Building (Store space) which is actually a group of three buildings with shared common landscaping, parking and design, but each building has separate, secured entrances and exits, and separate lobbies.

I would appreciate your clarification of the following:

If "Store," (ground floor restaurant) in an "office building," with street entrance/exit and fire exit entrance/exit, but no lobby access is treated for calculation purposes the exact same as "office space?" Can lobby or other “common areas,” that the Store tenants have no access to, be charged their a proportional share with office tenants of this common space?

And, in a office building complex with 3 buildings, is the "Building Common Area" separate for each building (thereby a different ratio might apply to each building separately) in the complex or is there one Building Common Area" ratio for all the buildings together, which is then applied to all tenants equally, and how is the ground floor, Store space treated vis-à-vis office space?

Basically, will (by your standards) the restaurant tenant pay their % of the "Building Common Area" and calculated as an "office Tenant,” despite the fact that they do not use the lobby, elevator lobby areas, and other generally accepted “office” common areas? And is the "Building Common Area" generally calculated specifically by floor? And, is common area in the exact building or the average of the common area in the multiple buildings in the complex?

Thank you for your prompt attention, I have been very frustrated by the lack of information my Commercial Development Partners have thus far been unable to provide. I hope you can help me with these questions.

Very Sincerely,

Eric Withers
Equity Focus Group

Adam Fingret
Extreme Measures Inc.
May 11, 2010


You have posted to the BOMA 1980 section of our forum. Are you in fact using BOMA 1980? The reason I ask, is that you cite "Building Common Area" which is a distinct element of BOMA 1996 only.

BOMA 1980, BOMA 1996 and the new BOMA 2010 each yield different answers to your questions.

Kindly confirm which standard you are concerned with.

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