Advantages of Upgrading Your Gray Shell to a White Box

Finalizing a commercial space so it is ready for business takes time and money. Sometimes a landlord chooses to front some of this burden by making it white box ready. Other times they choose to lease out the space as a gray shell with minimal-to-no finishings.


While there are advantages to both, the trend recently has been to bring the commercial space closer to completion so it is leased out as a white box (to learn more about the difference between gray shells and white boxes, read this first).


The White Box Advantage


While white boxes are not totally turn-key ready, they are in a much more finished place for tenants to add their final improvements to customize the space for their business and needs.


Here in Florida, we are witnessing this trend of bringing up commercial spaces to be more complete and lease-ready. For many properties this means building a corridor, adding doors, finishing the walls, bathroom, and HVAC unit installation.


As a white box, tenants are less hesitant to sign a lease agreement knowing they won’t have to invest as much into upfront construction costs. Converting from a gray shell to a white box offers opportunities for quicker release into the market.


What to Expect When Going from Gray Shell to White Box


At first blush it may not seem like much to produce a white box, but a lot goes into ensuring the space is built to code and that all the required permits are pulled for the given property type and location. The cost to finish a white box shell will vary based on the existing condition of the property, its size, and whether any demo is needed.


The scope of work for a white box includes things like electrical installation, modification and relocation of sprinkler heads, completion of the HVAC system, installation of walls and ceilings, and installation of any additional life safety requirements, among other requirements for your building and space. Gray shells also sometimes come with just a dirt floor. To complete the white box, we have to pour in a slab to support future walls and doors that will be put in.


If you’re looking to upgrade your gray shell to a white box, get in touch with us at Seacoast Construction.


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