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The New Standard for

Retail Measurement
ome years ago, the Building ticle by Ken Pool in the June issue describing the measurement of retail
Owners and Managers As- of The Network), BOMA Interna- space. Only 47% agreed that even
sociation (BOMA) Interna- tional has now published measure- one of the statements closely repre-
tional realized that its Stan- ment standards for the gross areas sented how to measure retail space.
dard Method of Measuring Floor of a building, industrial buildings, The other responses were all across
Area in Office Buildings, originally multi-unit residential buildings and the board. These survey results, and
introduced in 1915, had made The retail buildings. The American Na- the frequency of inquiries received by
William B. Tracy BOMA Standard the most widely tional Standards Institute now lists BOMA International and measure-
Bill@BuildingArea recognized brand for commercial all as ANSI consensus standards. ment firms, clearly indicated a need space measurement in the United In addition, BOMA task groups for a new measurement standard ad-
Stated and many other countries. are currently developing new mea- dressing the unique requirements of
The trouble was that it addressed surement standards for mixed-use retail buildings.
only office buildings, not other build- buildings and multiple buildings in The BOMA Retail Task Force was
ing types such as warehouses, retail a campus setting. led by two co-chairs with extensive
space, apartments or condominiums. experience in retail leasing: Richard
To better serve the commercial real Filling a Need King of Colliers International in Fort
estate industry, there was an obvious Nowhere was the need for a Meyers, Florida and Roger Vanderk-
need to develop additional measure- new measurement standard more lok of the Pennsylvania Real Estate
ment standards that addressed mea- urgent than for retail buildings. In Investment Trust in Philadelphia.
surement practices that are unique to a survey conducted by the Interna- There were 21 other task force mem-
those other building types. tional Council of Shopping Centers bers from the United States and Can-
In addition to updating the in April of 2008, 968 respondents ada who contributed their expertise
BOMA Office Standard (see the ar- were given four different statements to this new standard, giving it a solid
foundation in retail leasing practices
and, on June 25, 2010, the publica-
tion Retail Buildings: Standard Meth-
ods of Measurement became an ANSI
Consensus Standard, (ANSI/BOMA

Gross Leasable Area

Measurement of retail space is
significantly different from the mea-
surement of office space or store area
as defined by the 1996 BOMA Stan-
dard. The terminology differs as well.
Instead of rentable area used in of-
fice leasing, retail leasing uses gross
leasable area or GLA. In addition to
GLA, the standard measures enclosed
common areas such as malls, service
areas, public restrooms, mechani-
cal and electrical rooms and prop-
erty management and maintenance

William B. Tracy, MBA, NCARB is the Vice Chair of the BOMA Standard Method of Measurement Committee and the Principal Metrologist of
Building Area Measurement LLC.

24 t h e n e t w o r k | sept2010
Texas Motor Speedway
is a proud partner
with PAC Systems, Inc.
~ Since 1986 ~ in 2008.

To obtain the
BOMA Retail Standard,
go to
and click on the
BOMA Store.

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rooms. That square footage is printed out. In its 32 pages, the
critical to the determination standard contains 16 full-page
Installation Tenant Finish Outs
of common area maintenance color illustrations and 48 de-
Engineering U.L. Central Station Monitoring
(CAM) charges, but common fined terms with a discussion of
Repairs Inspection
area square footage is not allo- each term, as well as charts and
cated to tenant/occupant areas spreadsheets. Where a defined
as it is in office buildings. term is used in the text, it is hy-
www. 817-640-2223
Retail leases often include perlinked to its definition. The
ancillary areas, such as outdoor illustrations are linked to places
dining patios, garden centers, in the text where they are refer-
stockyards and other unen- enced. Certain spots (points of

closed spaces that are outside discussion in lease negotiations)
the perimeter enclosing walls such as low headroom areas and
of a building. The standard mezzanines are dealt with ex-
also addresses the issue of how plicitly. All this makes applying
to deal with kiosks, retail mer- the standard as easy and unam-
chandising units (RMUs) and biguous as possible.
food courts that are common The BOMA Retail Standard
in shopping centers. Finally, the is coordinated with the other
dominant portion rule used at BOMA standards, especially the
perimeter walls in the BOMA BOMA Gross Areas of a Build-
Office standard is not applied ing: Methods of Measurement,
in retail measurement, but the (ANSI/BOMA Z65.3-2009). In
lease line becomes an important this way, managers now have
concept generally not found in coordinated set of measurement
office leasing. tools that meet the needs for
the entire spectrum of square
Its Different But footage data employed in the
its coming.... crest
The Same
As a result of these differenc-
design, construction, financing,
purchase, sale, management EXPO 2011

es, the BOMA Retail Standard is and leasing of retail properties.

not a re-work of the office stan- The retail standard is of-
dard but a whole new animal fered for voluntary adoption;
that focuses on the retail prod- its application may not be ap-
uct. It does incorporate some propriate in all circumstances.
of the features employed by the For instance, the leasing of
office standard to increase clar- stores on the basis of their us-
ity and ease of use. Its distrib- able area is common in certain
uted in electronic format that
is downloadable from and can
markets and geographic areas,
but this standard does not sup- see page 56
be viewed on your computer or port that practice.

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