Office Leasing Terms: Foot Traffic

An important factor for a landlord to consider is how many people are going to be visiting the prospective tenant. At first, some tenants may not realize why this would be a concern for a landlord.

Even traditionally prestigious medical users are turned away by most buildings because of the amount of patients visiting them.
The primary issue is the negative effect a lot of people coming to the building have on the elevators. For most landlords it’s not worth inconveniencing (and potentially losing) the rest of their tenants to pick up a high foot traffic tenant. Most people are not happy waiting several minutes for an elevator and having to squeeze in there with a bunch of other tenants for multiple stops before it gets to the lobby or their floor.

Sometimes landlords will be more flexible on high-traffic users if the traffic occurs during off hours (like a college that teaches a class at 7 PM or on Saturdays).

Each landlord is different and some are much more open to considering high traffic users. This is one reason why you’ll see a lot of doctors in the same building (that and plumbing access to small spaces).

Somewhat ironically, the buildings with the largest elevator problems are the ones that are most likely to accept high-traffic tenants. Since the owners that are open to considering tenants with a lot of visitors already have accepted other tenants with high-traffic visitors, sometimes the buildings with the most crowded elevators are most willing to exacerbate the problem.

Obviously, this can be more of an issue for tenants with visitors since their visitors/customers will get annoyed by the inconvenience.
Often a good solution for a high foot traffic tenant is a walk-up building, lower level space, or 2ndor 3rd floor space in a smaller building where there isn’t as much of a disruption on the other tenants. Retail spaces are also an option, but come at a higher pricepoint.

If you’re a high foot traffic tenant, your options will be much more limited than a standard office use like an accountant or hedge fund.
If you are one of the following businesses, landlords are likely going to be asking you a lot of questions about the amount of visitors you will have:
  • Doctor or dentist
  • Spa
  • Hair salon
  • Modeling agency (casting calls)
  • Physical trainer
  • Teaching facility/classroom
  • Real estate office
  • Fashion designer (sample sales)
  • Dance studio
  • Pilates
  • Yoga Studio
  • Karate