Tenant
Improvement
Guide

Download guide.
View our work.
Have a project?

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

Overview

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 holistics picture of costs, along with comparison of permit times between cities and municipalities.

This guide does not provide

Tenant improvement costs can vary greatly based on the scope and requirements of the user. This is not a comprehensive cost of occupancy tool.

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" isa. 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 focussed 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.
$88-$133
cost/sqft.
$154-$199
cost/sqft.
$281-$386
cost/sqft.

Offices & Workspaces

1,500 sqft. - 15,000 sqft.
$84-$113
cost/sqft.
$145-$197
cost/sqft.
$223-$284
cost/sqft.

Gyms & Fitness

2,000 sqft. - 20,000 sqft.
$90-$115
cost/sqft.
$123-$159
cost/sqft.
$167-$239
cost/sqft.

Health & Wellness

1,500 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.
$119-$150
cost/sqft.
$169-$255
cost/sqft.
$290-$390
cost/sqft.

Restaurants & Bars

1,000 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.
$165-$216
cost/sqft.
$247-$316
cost/sqft.
$369-$551
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

$88-$133
cost/sqft.

Medium

$154-$199
cost/sqft.

High

$281-$386
cost/sqft.

Offices & Workspaces

1,500 sqft. - 15,000 sqft.

Base

$84-$113
cost/sqft.

Medium

$145-$197
cost/sqft.

High

$223-$284
cost/sqft.

Gyms & Fitness

2,000 sqft. - 20,000 sqft.

Base

$90-$115
cost/sqft.

Medium

$123-$159
cost/sqft.

High

$167-$239
cost/sqft.

Health & Wellness

1,500 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.

Base

$119-$150
cost/sqft.

Medium

$169-$255
cost/sqft.

High

$290-$390
cost/sqft.

Restaurants & Bars

1,000 sqft. - 5,000 sqft.

Base

$165-$216
cost/sqft.

Medium

$247-$316
cost/sqft.

High

$369-$551
cost/sqft.
Contact us
Local Market

Permit Review Times

WEEKS
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
8-10Weeks
8-9Weeks
12-13Weeks
10-14Weeks
8-9Weeks
8-10Weeks
10-12Weeks
8-10Weeks
3-4Weeks
4-6Weeks
10-16Weeks
Previous
Next

Learn more about our studio or discuss a potential project.

Contact us to learn more about our studio or discuss a potential project.