It’s tempting to think about commercial construction as singular: a one-time process that results in a finished building for your tenants to move in. But in reality, it makes more sense to consider the concept as more continuous. And that continuous process is nowhere more obvious than in the process of tenant improvements.

Imagine leasing your commercial building out to a variety of tenants. Even after initial satisfaction, their needs may change. The property value may decline, or you are looking to maximize the value of your construction. In each scenario, tenant improvements become a valuable and necessary construction project.

What are Tenant Improvements?

As their name suggests, tenant improvements refer to any type of construction project designed specifically to increase the usability of a commercial space for its various inhabitant. These improvements tend to be interior, and are not typically structural. They include a variety of projects, such as:

  • floor and wall coverings
  • ceilings
  • partitions
  • air conditioning
  • fire protection
  • security

Some of these improvements can be undertaken by the tenants themselves, depending on the lease agreement. Others, on the other hand, need to be spearheaded by the leassor, in which case a number of logistical challenges tend to arise.

The Logistical Challenges of Continuous Improvements

Tenant improvements tend to take place when your lessees are already in the building. That means construction has to occur during working times, posing a logistical challenge. 

Especially if the project does not originate from the tenant, some of these challenges can become significant. How, for example, do you convince a tenant who is paying you for office space that it makes sense to find alternative accommodations for the time being? Even compromised work spaces can become problematic in that instance.

The key to avoiding this type of trouble is two-fold:

  1. Communicate the benefits of the projects. Tenant improvements are ultimately done specifically with your lessees in mind. Let them know exactly why the construction is occurring, and what benefits they can expect from it long-term. As a result, they will become much more likely to go along with it.
  2. Acknowledge and plan for the challenges. Present your tenants with a plan of how to minimize the negative short-term effects of construction. A thorough project timeline, along with suggestions on how they can continue to keep up their business, and perhaps even alternative workspaces, can all be beneficial.

The Benefits of Tenant Improvements

Given the challenges mentioned above, should you actually engage in tenant improvement for your commercial buildings? That depends on the situation, but the answer is typically a clear yes. That’s because the long-term benefits far outweigh any short-term problems.

To start, your tenants will appreciate better, more functional, and safer spaces. That appreciation tends to keep them tied to your building for the long-term, increasing your financial stability. In addition, the same improvements also improve the property value, allowing you to increase your profits after the initial investment.

Finding the Right Construction Company For Your Needs

All of the above, of course, is only possible if you actually work with a partner who both understands the challenges of this type of commercial construction project, and knows how to circumvent them to maximize your potential benefits instead. In other words, you need a construction company with extensive experience and expertise in this area.

That’s where we come in. Rutledge Construction has specialized in commercial projects for decades, and is proud to share that expertise with all of its clients in the Minnesota area. We can help you maximize the success of your tenant improvement project, without falling short on the challenges. To learn more about a potential partnership, contact us.

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