2022 BC Tenant
Improvement
Guide

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Tenant
Improvement
Guide

A guide to tenant improvement costs and permit times for commercial projects in BC.

Overview

For 2022 we wanted to address the escalating construction costs that are being caused by supply chain delays, inflation affecting material costs, labour shortages, and other economic factors.

The data in this guide is collected by our team in collaboration with our industry & project partners. Cutler has been involved in commercial Tenant Improvement projects since 2010, completing 500+ projects in BC. A tenant improvement can be challenging, so we created this guide to help you understand the fundamental requirements.

This guide provides

A data driven tool used to compare tenant improvement costs throughout BC. It is a broad overview of costs, along with comparison of permit times between cities and municipalities.

This guide does not provide

A comprehensive cost of occupancy tool. Tenant improvement costs can vary greatly based on the scope and requirements of the user.

What is a Tenant Improvement?

Assumptions & Approach

A tenant improvement is the process to configure a space to better suite the tenant's needs. A Tenant Improvement may include the design, construction, and furnishing of a physical space.

The cost of tenant improvements can range widely in scope based on the tenant's needs and geography. For this guide, we assume a vanilla shell, adequate power, and no change of use or development permits required.

All costs are industry sourced.

This guide is based on the average costs of projects across BC.

All costs assume a full tenant improvement from a warm shell.

A "cold shell" is a space that has no furnishings, infrastructure, heat or plumbing. A "warm" shell, by comparison, could have heat and some other features already in place. To standardize costs included here, all figures represent the cost from a warm shell condition.

What is a tenant improvement allowance?

A tenant improvement allowance is money given from a landlord to a tenant to help pay for the improvements of a space.

Cutler

Tenant Improvement Table of Costs

Base

Designed on a simple budget, with basic technology and finishes focused on function.

Medium

Increased project complexity, considering upgraded lighting, technology and design features. Average quality materials and details.

High

Complex project design with emphasis on top-quality finishes and space improvements. Increased effort spent on details and design.

Space Quality & Complexity
Sectors

2021 TI Guide

Base

Medium

High

Retail & Showrooms

1,000 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.
$100-$150
cost/sqft.
$150-$225
cost/sqft.
$225+
cost/sqft.

Offices & Workspaces

1,500 sqft. - 15,000 sqft.
$120-$160
cost/sqft.
$160-$210
cost/sqft.
$210+
cost/sqft.

Gyms & Fitness

2,000 sqft. - 20,000 sqft.
$135-$170
cost/sqft.
$170-$220
cost/sqft.
$220+
cost/sqft.

Health & Wellness

1,500 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.
$125-$190
cost/sqft.
$190-$290
cost/sqft.
$290+
cost/sqft.

Restaurants & Bars

1,000 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.
$150-$255
cost/sqft.
$255-$380
cost/sqft.
$380+
cost/sqft.

2021 Tenant Improvement Guide

Choose Your Sector
Retail & Showrooms
Offices & Workspaces
Gyms & Fitness
Health & Wellness
Restaurants & Bars

Retail & Showrooms

1,000 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.

Base

$100-$150
cost/sqft.

Medium

$150-$225
cost/sqft.

High

$225+
cost/sqft.

Offices & Workspaces

1,500 sqft. - 15,000 sqft.

Base

$120-$160
cost/sqft.

Medium

$160-$210
cost/sqft.

High

$210+
cost/sqft.

Gyms & Fitness

2,000 sqft. - 20,000 sqft.

Base

$135-$170
cost/sqft.

Medium

$170-$220
cost/sqft.

High

$220+
cost/sqft.

Health & Wellness

1,500 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.

Base

$125-$190
cost/sqft.

Medium

$190-$290
cost/sqft.

High

$290+
cost/sqft.

Restaurants & Bars

1,000 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.

Base

$150-$255
cost/sqft.

Medium

$255-$380
cost/sqft.

High

$380+
cost/sqft.
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Local Market

Permit Review Times

WEEKS
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
12-16Weeks
8-12Weeks
12-16Weeks
12-16Weeks
8-10Weeks
8-10Weeks
12-14Weeks
10-12Weeks
4Weeks
12-16Weeks
8-10Weeks
12-14Weeks
8-12Weeks
10-16Weeks
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