Office building rehab questions - Sign, Lighting, Wallpaper

6 Replies

Just closed on 1852 historic office space and we are starting rehab. ITs 4-6 different sized office units that will most likely house businesses like CPA, Attorney, Graphic design. I am going to keep the character but want to brighten it up - it needs it! The plan is to paint,carpet, improve lighting, landscaping, and possibly replace the sign for starters. 

Can you review pictures below and give me your thoughts on 

  • 1. The sign.  Should we clean it up with paint and keep it? 
  • 2. Lighting - Its florescent lighting - I want to go brighter bulbs for sure but should I upgrade the lights themselves?
  • 3. Wall paper - The plan was to remove all of it and paint grey walls with white wainscoting (already there). Most of the wallpaper needs removed its old and stained. But any sense in keeping it where its in good shape? I dont like it but wanted other opinions.

Hi @Adam Craig , nice get! 1. Drive by it going the speed limit (or at a normal speed - i'll let you interpret that), and see if you can read in a split second - who is on the sign. If you can't in a glimpse, you should consider replacing or changing the size to make it appealing. It is part of your curb appeal and should probably reflect the motif you are going for on the interior and the type of tenant you desire. 2. The lights don't look bad. I'd keep them, again though, keep the motif in mind you're trying to hit and make a call. 3. Remove it, your instincts are right. That place hasn't been updated since wallpaper of that design was in vogue. Some wall paper is making its way back into office areas, but it edgier and and doesn't have flowers, curly things and fleur de lis. Most of that is my opinion, but you asked for thoughts! Best of luck!

Originally posted by @Joseph Firmin :

Hi @Adam Craig, nice get! 1. Drive by it going the speed limit (or at a normal speed - i'll let you interpret that), and see if you can read in a split second - who is on the sign. If you can't in a glimpse, you should consider replacing or changing the size to make it appealing. It is part of your curb appeal and should probably reflect the motif you are going for on the interior and the type of tenant you desire. 2. The lights don't look bad. I'd keep them, again though, keep the motif in mind you're trying to hit and make a call. 3. Remove it, your instincts are right. That place hasn't been updated since wallpaper of that design was in vogue. Some wall paper is making its way back into office areas, but it edgier and and doesn't have flowers, curly things and fleur de lis. Most of that is my opinion, but you asked for thoughts! Best of luck!

Thanks for the tips! I initially thought I would ugrade lighting but when I started to look most offices do have long florescent lights with some can lights mixed in which is pretty much my setup. I will most likely get brighter bulbs and call it a day.

 

What is your target rent for a lawyer? I wouldn't consider it unless it had recessed lighting, smooth walls, no 'sticker signs', etc. I wouldn't get brighter bulbs necessarily, intense light causes more eye strain especially when using a monitor.

Originally posted by @Ronald Rohde :

What is your target rent for a lawyer? I wouldn't consider it unless it had recessed lighting, smooth walls, no 'sticker signs', etc. I wouldn't get brighter bulbs necessarily, intense light causes more eye strain especially when using a monitor.

 There are 4 small units which wont be ideal for a lawyer but one large unit with 5 offices and large copy room that would be great for a lawyer/cpa/insurance. The guy who sold me the building had his law firm in there and is retiring. Target rent for the big space is around $1800.

In our commercial rehabs when we are upgrading the old T8 fluorescent lights we typically leave the fixtures in place, replace the ballasts and go with LED bulbs.  Huge cost savings.   

Originally posted by @Steven Lowe :

In our commercial rehabs when we are upgrading the old T8 fluorescent lights we typically leave the fixtures in place, replace the ballasts and go with LED bulbs.  Huge cost savings.   

 Thanks for the tips. I am probably overthinking it but I've been reading up on fluorescent bulbs and I think you're right LED is the way to go. I initially thought replace everything with can lights but same-day expense might not be worth it since there are already a decent amount of can lights in the office. There are so many bulbs these days do concern yourself with not bright enough or too bright? I assume the ones that say daylight are appropriate