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How much should the basement of a restaurant space rent for?

I currently have a small restaurant and am looking to move at the end of my lease. My jerk landlord wants me to transfer everything to a good location he has available, but he wants $9500 for a functional, turnkey restaurant space of about 1800 sq ft. There is a full functional basement of the same area, but he's still asking for a lot of money, isn't he? His asking price includes a full kitchen, although I would probably gut the place and start from scratch.

Comps in the area (open shells, not fully functioning restaurants) run $28-35/sq ft. but it seems that basements are usually thrown in, depending on the quality of the space. The basement in this space is quite nice, admittedly, but can it go for the same rate as the primary ground-level space?

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The BAF Group LLC

It depends on the area, the visibility, how high the ceiling is, whether the basement is subject to moisture that will potentially affect both your decor and your foods...lots of issues. Perhaps the biggest question I would have is, how difficult is it for people with difficulties in walking to enter? I think of a basement as having difficulty with access. Is your clientele older? Would they have difficulty getting up and down steps?

Yes, the basement is normally no the same price as a street-level location. See if you can get your local commercial real estate agent to provide you with some comps on basement spaces in the area. Depending on your location, if this is a common kind of space to lease, that should not be difficult; however, if your landlord is doing something unusual for your region, it could be a matter of straight negotiation based on nothing but logic to use as ammunition.

Aug 11, 2009