Office buildings are generally classified into one of these three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. These classifications allow brokers and their clients to more easily characterize and differentiate available office space. Because standards vary by market, there is no exact science to the classification of office buildings. Even though the classifications within the “office” category of Commercial Real Estate are somewhat subjective, there are some basic guidelines that I will provide here…
Class A buildings usually have the following amenities and characteristics. A choice central location, steel, concrete and glass construction, top-notch class tenant improvements, convenient on site parking…whether a parking deck or pad, state of the art HVAC and elevators , impressive architecture and modern design, and good quality property management and maintenance. These characteristics allow the Landlord to charge premium rents that are above average for the area. Larger size (relative to other buildings in the local market) is also a defining factor in designating a building “Class A”, making these buildings the “800 pound gorilla” in the room.
Class B buildings in the Triangle consist of either older buildings in a prime location or new buildings in secondary locations. Construction types usually span a greater variety than Class A buildings. They usually include good quality tenant improvements and maintenance, have on site parking, have elevators and HVAC, and are ADA accessible. Some older buildings will not have sprinklers or fire control.
Class C buildings are usually older structures that may or may not have been renovated, and are usually maintained on a shoestring budget. All spaces in Class C buildings have been previously occupied at some time. Class C buildings provide tenants with functional spaces at rents below the average for the area.