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In the metropolitan Washington, DC marketplace, Brandywine has built and is actively leasing a modern collection of readymade spaces to meet the needs of today’s emerging businesses. Speculative Suites (known commonly in the market as “Spec Suites”) are pre-built office suites which typically range in size from 1,500 square feet to 4,000 square feet. In some cases, these suites can be as large as 10,000 square feet. The Spec Suite size, layout, and finish quality are influenced by variables such as the targeted tenant base, market location, and landlord objectives.

Why Build A Spec Suite?

Spec Suites can provide the ideal situation for both landlords with excess space to lease and tenants in search of plug-and-play offices.

For a landlord, building out a Spec Suite can help accelerate the leasing time of vacant suites that have been lingering on the market for a period of time due to outdated finishes or inefficient layouts. Building multiple Spec Suites simultaneously provides a landlord the ability to receive aggressive pricing from contractors, which drives down the exorbitantly high per square foot (PSF) costs associated with building out a small suite.

While Spec Suites still require a significant investment from landlords, they also mitigate risk. Landlords invest capital in specific layouts and designs that the market has dictated will lease quickly. If a tenant defaults, landlords have the ability to re-lease a standard Spec Suite to new tenants much quicker than a suite that has been tailored to a specific tenant’s space requirements.

For a tenant, a Spec Suite offers the benefit of quick occupancy in an updated suite with an efficient layout. Some tenants are not interested in, nor do they have the time required to design, permit, and build out a new suite. The Spec Suite option eliminates these time constraints.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the Spec Suite option also provides a level of flexibility for both landlords and tenants. A typical lease term for a tenant occupying a Spec Suite can be 3-5 years. For landlords, this means less capital is required to keep a Spec Suite “fresh” as tenants roll every 3-5 years. For start-up tenants or those upgrading from shared-offices and co-working suites, a Spec Suite with a shorter lease term is attractive because they can have the professional image of a high-end build-out without the constraints of a lengthy lease term obligation, which could potentially prohibit future growth.

Pictured herein are examples of our Spec Suites and accompanying conference centers in Silver Spring, Maryland and Herndon, Virginia. These Spec Suite models in particular benefit not only from flexible lease terms and modern finishes, but also from also from residing in WiredScore Certified buildings with best-in-class internet connectivity, which encourages maximum business productivity.

Station Square in Silver Spring is a signature transit-oriented location, located steps from the newly renovated Silver Spring Transit Center in Montgomery County, Maryland just north of DC proper. And, our Cooperative Way properties, which are located just off the Dulles Toll Road by Washington Dulles International Airport, will be within minutes of the future Herndon and Innovation Center Silver Line Metro Stations.

In our next Real Estate Lexicon post we’ll cover TOD (transit-oriented development) and examine why we believe connected, accessible communities like Silver Spring and those along the Silver Line Corridor represent the future of suburban American real estate.

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