How to Manage a Turnkey Project

WRITTEN BY rightsize


When managing a turnkey building, don't forget to ask the right questions.

When furnishing an office space it isn’t unusual to have a landlord recommend a build-to-suit or turnkey construction project, which means that the landlord will manage the construction in-house, based on a pre-agreed upon work letter. This method gives the landlord control of the process, while taking the pain of coordinating the process off the tenant’s plate.  Oftentimes turnkey projects give landlords a little more flexibility in rental rates, because the construction costs tend to be more competitive.

A turnkey buildout solutions sounds like a simple process - and in most cases it is. But neglecting to ask the right questions can cost you a lot of money in the long run.

In almost all turnkey projects, the landlord and tenant will agree to a work letter that outlines to what extent the landlord is responsible for the build-out. This makes it easy for both the landlord and tenant to keep track of the details. The work letter ensures that both parties know what to expect from the completed project. But sometimes people are still caught off guard if details aren’t accounted for in the planning process

The area that is most likely to cause a disconnect is furniture. That’s because in most turnkey scenarios, furniture is negotiable. From the very beginning, there needs to be a plan in place for accommodating furniture to make sure that the space is move-in ready when the turnkey project is completed.

To start, engage a furniture vendor to complete the space plan. A furniture vendor will have the ability to help you design your office space to include FF&E. They will provide a budget for the furniture so that it can be negotiated into the cost of the build out. Make sure this happens prior to agreeing to the final work letter.

If the landlord elects not to cover the cost of the furniture, make an effort to have the space wired for furniture during the construction process - even if it costs a little bit extra. This will save tenants a lot of time and money by ensuring that the cabling is in the right place to accommodate the desks and workstations. Your furniture vendor can provide a complete space plan that includes the individual wiring requirements for each desk.

Once the details have been finalized, make sure they are carefully outlined in the work letter, with a space plan illustrating the specs. This will guarantee that both parties are totally protected - and that the space is ready for business when you are.

Questions? Rightsize can help.

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