In March 2021, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) announced an update to its retail floor measurement standard: BOMA 2020 for Retail Properties. 

This standard includes the most significant changes to the BOMA measurement standard since BOMA Office 2017, and the first update to the retail sector since 2010 

As the retail landscape evolves (accelerated by COVID-19), the new standard provides a valuable resource for property management teams to maximize asset value. 

Wondering how these new standards impact your retail property, and more importantly, your bottom line? 

To find answers, we went straight to the experts 

Jonathan Pedican: Solutions Engineer II at Building Engines and former VP of Client Services at RDM (now a Building Engines company). Jonathan serves as a product expert and go-to resource for solving clients’ space management pain points 

Miguel Flores: Implementation Project Director at Building Engines. Miguel is responsible for successful building measurement implementations for REBNY and BOMA standards. As a member of BOMA’s New York Chapter, he’s part of the BOMA Committee that produces and refines measurement standards.  

Can you summarize the most significant changes introduced in the BOMA 2020 Retail Standard?

MF: The new BOMA standard gives property owners and asset managers the opportunity to do a partial measurement of at least one retail unit, or an overall measurement of the entire property (including all retail suites and common areas).  

Certain unenclosed areas that are fundamental to the “retail experience” (like permanent patio areas, balconies, finished rooftops etc.) are now included in Gross Leasable Area and Gross Leasable Exclusions. Even when they aren’t part of the GLA, some unenclosed areas are now measured as part of service and public areas.  

There is also the option to calculate parking areas, major vertical penetrations, service areas and public areas according to the retail tenant’s GLA. Usually, there are tenant fees associated with these communal areas, so it’s important to measure them accurately. 

How could these changes impact GLA and portfolio revenue? 

MF: Retail properties that have exclusive use of certain unenclosed areas can now capture this space in their GLA. This maximizes portfolio revenue.

Additionally, performing an overall measurement of a retail property (which BOMA recommends) gives property owners a complete and granular report of their spaces. The data in this report can impact tax-related expenditures, CAM (Common Area and Maintenance) charges and other maintenance expenses. 

How have you helped customers move to new standards (such as BOMA Office 2017) in the past?

JP: Usually, we start by performing due diligence on previous BOMA analyses of the building. Then, we consult with the client on any discrepancies or inconsistencies seen in the property’s current CAD files or rent rolls.  

At this stage we can typically identify if there will be growth potential and additional revenue opportunities for the asset. Then, we use the latest laser measuring devices and 3D technology along with existing plans to capture the most accurate measurements possible. 

What advice do you have for property teams wondering where to start with building remeasurement?

JP: It doesn’t hurt or cost money to have us review your current files. We can double-check your architects’ work and consult with you on options and next steps. In many cases, we can quickly identify ways to help you increase your NOI through building remeasurement 

Do you have any tips for choosing the right building measurement platform? What should users look for to maximize their ROI fast?

JP: You definitely need a platform that pairs your tenant information with BOMA calculations. Most importantly, you need to see building data in a format other than PDFs or static paper plans 

These documents are always outdated, making it difficult to organize previous versions and stay on the same page as a team. Many property managers and leasing teams don’t realize the time and resources they waste using outdated tools like these.  

The right platform will also provide the ability to track all scenarios, modifications and more in one central hub.  

Do you anticipate any additional changes to BOMA measurement standards that property teams should be aware of?

MF: Be on the lookout for a revised BOMA Standard for Mixed Use Properties coming out later in 2021. A revised BOMA Office Standard should also be available in 2022.  

Additionally, with the growth of life science properties, the BOMA committee is considering a standard for this property type.

The 2020 Retail Standard includes: 

  • An expanded Glossary of Terms 
  • Best-practice guidance developed after the publication of the 2010 Retail Standard to address ambiguities
  • Two distinct levels of measurement: Partial Measurement and Overall Measurement 
  • An optional Inter-Building Area calculation to allocate Parking Areas, Major Vertical Penetrations, and Service and Public Areas (Gross Leasable Exclusions) according to the Gross Leasable Areas of the Property’s Occupants 
  • Flexibility to separately disclose areas of interest 
  • An easy-to-follow, step-by-step layout written in simplified language with helpful hints and detailed instructions and illustrations in a landscape format for ease of use 

Wrapping it Up 

Are you struggling to keep up with changing measurement standards? Building Engines is here to help.  

Our measurement services ensure that your portfolio adheres to the most recent building measurement standards, including BOMA and REBNY. This maximizes your revenue potential and keeps you competitive with other buildings in your market. 

Then, our Real Access solution can help you continuously stay on top of management of floor plans, maximize RSF in plan books and generate marketing kits from the latest plan files. 

To get more value out of your spaces as they evolve, schedule a demo with our team of experts today.