Biggest project to date - Looking for some advice on the rehab.

3 Replies

I just closed on my 4th commercial building - its a 23K sq/ft vacant 3 story building in the downtown of a C+ or B- city.

I picked it up at a great price of 190K. I estimate 350-500K in repairs and the ARV based on conservatives numbers at 8% cap is around 1.6 million.

I have been "winging" it on my previous buildings to an extent but all of them turned out great with excellent cash flow and big forced appreciation. Because this is my biggest project to date, I am hoping someone with more experience can review my plan on this building and let me know what you would do differently - mostly with to rehab or not to rehab before tenants.

We are replacing some needed items for sure -roof, some HVAC, windows and other mechanicals. Here is the idea for the rest...

1. First floor - this was an old bank approximately 7000 sq/ft. We are going to demo what is left and market it "as is" to restaurants. The city is pushing very hard to get a restaurant, but at end of the day we will take whoever is qualified. Because its store front/restaurant space, rehabbing it would not be ideal since we have no idea what is coming in. 

2. Lower lever, 2nd floor, 3rd floor - this is all former office/flex space. Some of it is finished and some is not and most in poor condition. Similar to my other buildings, we were planning to finish the space and then lease it out.

Is it a bad idea to finish the space before and not have tenants do it?  I get mixed opinions on this. My thinking is, the city I am in is not so desirable that people are banging on the door to get in. Based on the experience from my previous buildings, its so much easier to lease the space when its finished and we do a good job. We are not taking down walls or making huge changes, just flooring, ceiling tiles, lights, ect...  There seems to be plenty of room for us to pay for some rehab and still extremely well.

I appreciate your thoughts on this. The building photos are below.

Originally posted by @Troy Owen :

@Adam Craig

Adam I am new to this and don’t have much to add, but am very interested in seeing how you move forward with this project. Thanks for posting. Hopefully someone with more experience can chime in!

I have a felling others have not chimed in because the answer is subjective. It seems sometimes investors finish space and other times they dont. I feel on this building, the price we got it at and the ARV warrants the ability to finish some of the space pre-leasing.

If others chime in I might rethink it but for now we will market the first floor as is and finish the second and third. It worked well on our other buildings

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What are you marketing the office as? NNN or gross? If you have more sophisticated tenants, just demo and leave as shell since they will put the money in for TI/rents.

If you need to market as coworking or suite lease, gotta finish it and probably even furnish.