When a business moves into a new commercial space, there are almost some tenant improvements that need to happen before the business can open its doors. Most businesses have very specific requirements when it comes to things like workstations, storage, meeting spaces, and/or retail space. Typically, a commercial building owner will include a certain amount of money into the lease agreement that a tenant can then use to make improvements to the leased space. The next step is for the tenant to find an architect who can help make the space what it needs to be for the business to operate effectively—and hopefully, profitably.
Finding the right tenant improvement architect in Long Beach is crucial. You want to find an architect who will take the time to understand your business and its specific needs. A good architect will carefully examine the existing commercial space and then come up with creative solutions that will make the space as functional as possible. They will also take into consideration the image you want your business to portray to your customers, clients, and even your employees, and create a plan to transform the space into one that works for your business.
Mark Grisafe, owner and lead architect at Grisafe Architecture in Long Beach, recommends bringing in an architect before you even sign a lease on a commercial space. He says, “An architect will be able to tell you if the changes you want to make are feasible and/or within your budget. Once the lease is signed, an architect can work closely with you to come up with space planning ideas that will help with workflow and that will improve the employee and/or customer experience.”
A good architect isn’t just good for coming up with architectural plans, either. An architect can be a valuable partner throughout the entire tenant improvement process, handling things such as code research and compliance issues. Your architect can see your plans through the City’s approval process and may even be willing to work with your general contractor to ensure that everything is completed according to the plans.
For many businesses, sticking to a strict timeline in the tenant improvement process is crucial. Business owners want to get their businesses up and running as soon as possible so they can start making money. Having the tenant improvement process drag out for months longer than it should prevents them from doing this.
Hiring a good architect who is familiar with local building codes and other requirements for commercial spaces means that the plans they produce will likely travel through the approval process quickly—with few revisions required from the City. Thorough plans will also help the general contractor move forward with the construction phase of the project in a timely manner. He or she won’t have to stop work to get clarification from the architect when there are things in the architectural drawings that aren’t entirely clear. Instead, the general contractor can simply follow the plans as they were drawn up.
When researching architects in Long Beach, look for one with experience with tenant improvement projects, and if possible, get some referrals from business owners who have recently completed tenant improvement projects or from local general contractors who work with tenant improvement architects on a regular basis.