Vanilla box is a construction concept that offers commercial space tenants and buyers the flexibility, customization options, and potential cost savings to transform the basic structure into functional, tailored spaces that align with their business objectives and aesthetic preferences. This approach is becoming increasingly popular in the commercial real estate industry due to its benefits for both landlords and tenants alike.
A Vanilla Shell space includes the basic infrastructure, with the landlord providing a ceiling, floors, and utilities, but not the interior walls or floor coverings. In a retail space, this may include a concrete floor, fire taped ready-to-paint walls, electrical panel and outlets, plumbing, heating/cooling systems, and lighting. It may not include a finished restroom or the drywall and paint needed for a tenant’s build out, but it does typically include a drop ceiling with white tiles, 1-2 toilets depending on city requirements, finished electrical (switches, outlets), and a sprinkler system.
The specific specifications of a Vanilla Shell space vary from project to project, but ideally, they will be clearly defined in the lease contract between the owner and the tenant. If not, it could result in miscommunication and confusion about what is included and not. That could lead to disputes and misunderstandings that can ultimately be resolved against the tenant, Faber warns.
Vanilla Box spaces are often used in retail, restaurant, and office projects to create versatile environments that can be customized by each individual tenant. This construction method can allow retailers to design a floorplan that optimizes product display and customer flow, while restaurants can customize kitchen layouts and dining areas to reflect their culinary visions.
In addition to the flexibility of Vanilla Box construction, it can also offer significant time and cost savings. Because the basics of a space are already in place, tenant and buyer improvements can be completed more quickly, saving on materials, labor, and overall construction costs.
While there are many benefits to using Vanilla Box construction, it is important for both landlords and tenants to understand the limitations of this approach. It’s crucial for landlords to consult with tenants to get a clear understanding of their space requirements, and ensure that the initial Vanilla Box design accommodates those needs. In addition, tenants should ensure that their plans comply with building codes and regulations, work within existing physical constraints of the space, and factor in any potential costs associated with the additional customizations they plan to make. Using an experienced contractor can help mitigate these risks and ensure that the build-out process is seamless for both parties. Vanillekiste