How Much Does Office Space Cost Per Square Foot?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Whether you want to get an office for the first time, or maybe you want to transfer to a new office, there are many factors that you’re going to have to be aware of before you sign your next lease.

Office wallpaper by dan taylor, on Flickr
Office wallpaper” (CC BY 2.0) by  dan taylor

How much does office space cost?

There are going to be many factors that need to be factored in.  The location of the building, the amenities, the age of the building and the foot traffic, for example, will affect the price.  The average office space in the United States is around $39 per square foot according to CushWake.com.

We browsed multiple commercial listing websites, such as LoopNet, and came up with a “square foot” average on our chart below.  With geographical location being the biggest factor, costs across the United States can be as little as $18 to as much as $70+ per square foot.

Priceonomics.com surveyed Y Combinator companies to ask how much they paid for rent.  Companies responded and had an average of 10 employees and spent an average of $6,100 a month on rent.   Of the 54 companies in the survey, 37 were in California and the rest were in New York, London, Ann Arbor and Seattle.

CityRent Per Square Foot
Atlanta$18 to $24
Beijing$188 to $210
Boston$27 to $35
Chicago$33 to $39
Dallas$19 to $23
Houston$27 to $33
Indianapolis$22 to $26
London$220 to $250
Los Angeles$29 to $33
Miami$29 to $33
New York City$150 to $180
Seattle$29 to $35
San Francisco$60 to $72
Washington D.C.$46 to $55

What are the extra costs?

Some office spaces will require you pay Internet and phone line fees.

Lighting, heating, cooling and other miscellaneous bills may be your responsibility.

A security deposit, just like a residential rental, will be required when securing your space.

If you’re going to make any renovations and the owner doesn’t agree to help, this can be an additional cost to think about.

Tips to know:

Office rentals are going to vary.  Some will include utilities, a mailbox, heat/air conditioning, bathrooms, and even a kitchen.  Some may also include items such as a conference center, a break room and designated parking spaces.  Generally, the office space listing will be specific with what you’re going to get with your rental.  Consult with the landlord if you do have questions about the building.

Before signing a lease, it’s ideal to have a lawyer look over your contract to ensure there are no hidden fees and/or restrictions.

Be sure to know what’s going to be included in your contract.  Will it include anything such as utilities?  If the utilities aren’t included, how will they work?

Try your best to negotiate the shortest lease term.   By doing this, it’s going to give you a good idea on how it’s going to work and it also allows you to if you’re going to like it.  The last thing that you want is to get tied up in a lease and find out later down the road you don’t like it.

How often can you get access to the office?  Do you have 24/7 access?  This is extremely important for those who want to access the office during extended hours.

How can I save money?

Consider getting a broker as they will be able to spot an office space that will fit your needs.  They may also be able to haggle with the price tag as well.

Make sure that you’re getting enough space.  Don’t buy too much space as you may find that you don’t need all of it.

Share your office with another company.  By doing this, you should be able to cut your rent by almost 50%+

Consider getting all the utilities tied into your rent.

Consider renting a shared space.  You’ll find that these spaces can give you everything that you need at a fraction of the cost.


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Average Reported Cost: $228000

100 %
0 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Louise (st petersburg,  Florida) paid $228000 and said:

    Purchasing an office building 1445 sq.ft in St Petersburg Fl. Any advise on what rental income I can request?

    Was it worth it? Yes

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