White Box Building for Landlords and Tenants
Stores, office buildings, strip malls - retail and commercial spaces all have to be prepared for tenants before they are move-in ready. It is one thing to construct the building - preparing for tenants is another issue. Landlords and tenants expect a certain amount of preparation for store or office space even before they discuss plans for finishing. Hence landlords typically hire contractors to do “white box” building, to get a space ready for tenants to see before agreement to lease.
This is considered white box building because the contractor is building what is referred to as a white box, before finishing is executed for the tenant. A white box, sometimes called a vanilla box, is a space with the necessary basics completed; a space executed to the point where a tenant is not ready to move in, but can visualize how their office or store finishing will fit within the space to be ready for business.
For a white box interior, previous tenant finishing must be gutted and cleared for the future potential tenant. Whether this is a new or previously used space, it must be cleared to the point of having:
- exterior walls
- unpainted, or basic white, interior, code-required walls
- restrooms and drinking fountain
- elevator for multi-story buildings
- basic plumbing
- hot water
- basic lighting and electrical
- doors and windows
- concrete floors
- basic ceiling and roof
- emergency access/escape
- any other code or licensing requirements