What is Grade A, Grade B and Grade C office space?
There are often referrals made in the commercial property industry about the ‘grading’ or classification of office space. But what does this mean?
Many Grade A office properties are found in prime locations, such as the ‘Gherkin’ in the City of London
There is no set definition about the grading of office space, but three general classifications do exist which all office properties fit broadly into.
There are many factors that can contribute to the grading of a property, including age, location, standard of maintenance, length of leases and even extras such as landlord credibility and rated tenants.
To find out more about Grade A, B or C office space, a general definition of the three classifications are as follows. If you have further information or examples you wish to add, please get in touch below.
Grade A office space
The most prized and sought-after is Grade A or Class A office space. Typically, office buildings within the Grade A bracket are brand new or have been recently redeveloped, or experienced a thorough refurbishment. The properties are prestigious and usually occupy prime locations within major cities such as Central London, Manchester and Birmingham.
Along with the standard of the building itself, Grade A offices will also possess high-quality furnishings, state-of-the-art facilities, and excellent accessibility. The property will be finished in order to compete for premier office users, typically appealing to an international market, and will usually demand rents that are above average for the area.
The Urban Land Institute, an organisation committed to commercial land use policy and practice, provides examples of Grade A office space as: “the office buildings that you see in the heart of the financial district with lots of brass and glass fixtures and huge, expensive lobbies.”
These properties are also said to be “often occupied by banks, high-priced law firms, investment banking companies, and other high-profile companies with a need to provide the trappings of financial success.”
Grade B office space
Grade B or Class B office space refers to properties that fall below the Grade A remit, typically in terms of location, facilities and maintenance. The majority of businesses seeking office space will usually opt for a Grade B property, as the rents are often cheaper and supply is more readily available than the more prestigious Grade A offices.
Grade B offices are usually maintained and finished to a good or fair standard, with adequate facilities. Materials used in the construction or fit-out of the building are functional but are not considered to be the highest quality.
These properties are sometimes ex-Grade A. They are often found in the suburbs or slightly cheaper areas, as opposed to Grade A offices which typically occupy the most sought-after locations.
Grade C office space
Grade C or Class C offices provide functional space for tenants looking for low rents. The fit-out is usually much lower quality than A or B Grade properties, while internal furnishings and decoration are usually not maintained regularly, or to a high standard.
These buildings are typically 15 to 25 years old, but maintain steady occupancy. The Urban Land Institute states that many Grade C offices are not genuine office buildings, but are more like “walk-up office spaces” located above retail or service businesses