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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

    I'm often asked questions like this in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861

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Tenant Improvement Architects

Hiring a Tenant Improvement Architect (Contd.)

There is a difference between a regular architect and one that knows about tenant improvement architecture.

As we covered previously, a tenant improvement architect is a professional who can change the space of any commercial facility, according to the tastes and needs of the commercial building owner or can redesign it according to the needs of the tenant, while at the same time protect the structure from being compromised.

Get aTenant Improvement Architect on Board for your Next Project | 480-710-3861

Get aTenant Improvement Architect on Board for your Next Project | 480-710-3861

What Improvements Can an Architect Make to a Commercial Property?

There are a lot of improvements that a qualified tenant improvement architect can do that are affordable, while at the same time taking the specific needs of the affected tenants into account.

A professional tenant improvement architect can help you greatly in making developments in your commercial facility in a professional way. Their expert development service will also offer you an opportunity to improve your workplace, perk up its value, and to improve the use of space. Whether you require an expansion, complete remodeling, or other type of tenant development, a competent tenant development architect should be the first call you make.

Hire a Licensed Architect in Phoenix

Choosing a state licensed architect for your tenant development project is a shrewd and financially sound option. They will have the required expertise in improving the commercial facilities with utmost professionalism. Furthermore, they will have a professional approach in doing the job in a correct way. They should have valid references, licenses, and demonstrated experience, as well.

If you are the owner of a commercial property, and would like to develop your property, working with an experienced and skilled architect will offer you many benefits in both time and money. Some of the other benefits inclue:

A tenant improvement architect will assist you greatly in keeping your development costs down. Nothing can set your tenant development project back like an unforeseen cost. Furthermore, these architects may have a strong background in commercial structural design to complete your project with the maximum professionalism.

Tenant improvement engineers are outstanding project administrators and they are capable of meeting any calendar date, agreement check, so you can rest guaranteed that you could start your tenant development project with confidence, according to your schedule and your budget.

Licensed and experienced tenant improvement architects will be true professionals, so you can rest assured that all your commercial development projects would be completed in a timely manner at a reasonable price.


DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
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Tenant Improvement Architects and Your Building Part 2

Part two of a series on tenant improvement architects explores when you should and shouldn’t agree to tenant improvements.

Tenant Improvement Architects:  What Requests Are Valid?



As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to balance your tenant’s needs with how much it will cost and whether it is even doable.  However, you must try to keep your tenant happy, and hiring a tenant improvement architect in Phoenix is a good step in that direction, as they can help you control costs effectively.

First off, any tenant improvement that adds value to the property should be agreed to without hesitation.  For example, electrical improvements such as additional power outlets, and communications upgrades such as broadband internet connections, entertainment such as cable or satellite are safe bets.  Another thing that works are any improvements that bring your building in compliance with various laws such as ramps for wheelchairs, smoke detectors, etc.   In fact, these tenant improvements are very cost-effective particularly when viewed against the cost of fines and litigation.  Upgrades to the HVAC system also add marketability to the property and should be considered right up front.

Cosmetic Changes and a Tenant Improvement Architect

Cosmetic changes on the other hand are a judgment call for any landlord to make.   For example, knocking out a wall and replacing it with glass bricks is a tenant improvement that may limit the use of the property when it comes up for rent again.   And with an existing tenant, you have to consider whether or not you wish to keep them as a tenant before agreeing to any tenant improvement projects.  In cases like custom paint jobs for the lobby, it’s a good idea for landlords to put in a clause that the tenant has to restore it back to its original shape when they move out.

So as you see, some improvements are obvious.  Some others, you have to measure cost versus gain, and other ones you have to consider sparingly.  One thing that you don’t want to do, however, is do any project without any input from a tenant improvement architect.

This concludes part two of our series on tenant improvement architects. Be sure to read part one of this series as well.
DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295

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Tenant Improvement Architects and Your Building Part 1

Tenant improvement architects can help commercial property owners effectively allocate their buildings based upon the needs of the tenants.  Look at the scenario of a retail property.

Post Modern Architecture and the 21st Century

Phoenix Architecture Firms

Tenant Improvement Architect Doug Rusk | 480-710-3861

One of our clients, we’ll call him John, owns a shopping plaza that was built in the early 70’s.  The wiring is up to date, and there’s even Wi-Fi.  However, one of his higher paying tenants wants to expand their store space from 1200 square feet to 2400 square feet.  He was all in favor of it, until the client started discussing knocking down walls.  John fortunately was wise enough to call us for his tenant improvement architectural project. 

It isn’t just for building permits and load-bearing walls that you want to call in a tenant improvement architect, however.  We were able to tell the client which walls weren’t load bearing, as well as help them to navigate the process of building permits with the city.  We were able to recommend builders and everyone was happy with the end result.  John was lucky, because the building was sound.  We’ve had some clients where the retail space was considerably older, and in one notable case was even listed as historically significant, meaning that the bureaucratic process was even more convoluted and elaborate.

The Importance of Hiring a Tenant Improvement Architect

As tenant improvement architects, we know that it is often not possible to change much in the structure of a historical building.  We had a client find out that the hard way.  She bought a beauty salon that was in a historical district of Phoenix.  She called in a builder to knock out a wall, put in a picture window, and thought nothing of it…until the fines and cease and desist orders started coming in the mail.  Seems that there was an ordinance about modifying the building.

She had to pay to restore it back to the way it was, and it was then she called us.  We were able to keep her costs down, and get her back into compliance with the city.  So, as you see, it is a good idea to call in a tenant improvement architect in Phoenix at the start of a project, not at the end.

This concludes part one of our series on tenant improvement architects.  Please be sure to read part two of this series as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295



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Tenant Improvement Construction Costs and Design

by Doug Rusk
Principal of DESIGNLine Architects, LLC

Commercial Office Remodel

We’d like to share four “design tips” with anyone who is thinking about venturing into a Tenant Improvement for their commercial office or retail space.

1.  A Tenant Improvement Renovation is Much Like a Home Renovation.

tenant-improvement-Architect-TempeIn many ways your business is your home.  It’s where you and you staff spend most of your waking hours.  As you work with your Architect consider in detail each room; who will use them and how they’ll function.

– In the same way that the kitchen and the family room want to be interconnected, you want to customize your commercial space so it better fits the interactions of your staff and the functions they perform.

– The operations manager of a popular Wine Bar and Bistro, for example, noted recently how productivity improved after the layout was reworked for their wine retail area. The new layout greatly improved the customer flow in the Bistro area for both the customers and staff.

2.  The Branding of Your Firm Should be Emphasized in Your Tenant Improvement Design.

If you run a business, you own a brand. Whether done consciously or not, you have positioned your brand in the market and have an opportunity to emphasize that brand in your Tenant Improvement.

– The appearance of your lobby room, the signage and detail around the entry, and even your bathrooms should mirror the core values and the culture of you, your staff and your business.

– If you’re planning a remodel of your Dentist office, for example, then you might want to create a casual, comfortable social atmosphere, because that’s the primary market you’re targeting.

– On the other hand you may instead want to create more of a formal, professional, no nonsense atmosphere, because it meets your clients needs  and the key attributes and benefits they desire.

– So, as you work with your Architect to draw up plans, take time to define your brand. Look at what you stand-for personally and as a business, and what differentiates you from competitors.  Just going through the process of defining your brand can help you make distinctive design decisions that not only improve flow and function, but may inevitably help your business grow.

3.  Generic Construction Costs for a Typical Tenant Improvement

There is no such thing as a “typical” tenant improvement.  Each project has a different set of requirements that are determined by many varying tenant-improvement-Architect-Chandlerfactors.  This graph illustrates some approximate construction costs based on historical data that you can use as a reference point when considering a standard office improvement.  These figures are general and will most likely change based on your project’s scope and special requirements.

Again, we hope the estimated, ball park numbers to the right will help you come to terms with a realistic budget.

4. Determine Cost Estimate Early

– If you talk to the right Architect, they will help you identify your budget and design goals, and offer a low cost conceptual design package that will be complete enough to allow a qualified General Contractor to develop a +/- 20% cost estimate for your project.  Our goal is to provide a low cost option for you to confirm your budget, before moving forward.

– And when the final drawings and specifications are completed and the project is bid to the subcontractors, very accurate costs are locked in, assuming no design changes.

Phoenix Architecture Firms

Doug Rusk is the principal of DESIGNLine Architects located in Gilbert, Arizona.  DESIGNLine Architects specializes in office tenant improvements and residential design.  We will ensure your Office Tenant Improvement will look more attractive and welcoming to your customers, while also increasing efficiency for you and your staff.

Phoenix ArchitectDoug Rusk, Architect
DESIGNLine Architects

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