Office buildings are classified into different categories or classes based on certain factors. These factors usually include criteria like age, location/accessibility, condition, efficiency and what amenities are included. Building classes are subjective and usually set forth by BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association). Building amenities are services or features that are of convenience to tenants. Some examples of this might include food facilities, parking garages, fitness centers, mail or printing centers, and concierge service. Amenities could also be described as the type of finishes used in the construction of the building, elevators and and design of the building. The general purpose of the classification system is to create an apples to apples comparison within a certain market to be able to an intelligent decision as well as track the industry trends.
Class A: The most highly regarded buildings that command above average rents in the market. These buildings are often considered “trophy” buildings and have high quality construction and materials, fully modernized systems in place, a host of amenities, are in excellent condition, great accessibility and a solid presence in the market. These buildings often will be efficient or “green” in terms of power use and environmental impact. These buildings usually have been built in the last 5-7 years, have updated technology, are in prominent areas, and house higher end companies like law firms and financial services companies.
Class B: These buildings have a more average rental price and are usually competing for a wider array of users. Building construction is good for the area as are its’ systems. There may be a few amenities but not as many as a Class A building. This building may be in a less desirable location or slightly off the major corridors and sometimes be an older building. The building does not compete with Class A buildings at the same price.
Class C: The lowest of the categories, these buildings are usually below average market price and compete for tenants looking for a merely functional space. Usually there are few if any amenities to speak of, the building construction needs work or is outdated, and the location and convenience factor is lacking. These buildings are really just a value play for someone looking for cheaper rents. These buildings are usually 10-15 years old or more and have few improvements and lower levels of maintenance. These buildings might attract new companies that are budget conscious and don’t rely on location as much.