Cost per Square Foot of Commercial Construction by Region

We get this question all the time: How much does it cost to build a commercial building? There is no quick answer and without more information about the project and its location, is essentially akin to asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. However, there is some guidance provided we know where you are located and what kind of building you are looking to build. Local economy is a very important factor in construction cost as well as the type of construction you intend to build.

We subscribe to RSMeans’, researchers of construction cost data nationwide, and have come across some important current data on the cost of commercial construction for four different commercial project types as a function of their location. Note, that not all types of construction cost the same per square foot, and even more importantly, the cost of construction per square foot varies significantly with location.

Below are four different types of commercial construction and the varying cost per square foot to expect for each in different regions.  All graph images are courtesy of RSMeans Construction Cost Data. Data source: Reed Construction Data – RSMeans/Charts: Reed Construction Data – CanaData

Graph showing cost to build commercial building across major U.S. cities (data from 2009).
One Story Office Building

As you can see from the range of cost per square foot, location alone can represent as much as 70% of the cost driver for a single story office building. The median for this type of construction is between $160 and $170 per square foot. Not surprisingly, New York tops the charts for most expensive city to build in for all of these building types.

Graph showing cost to build commercial building across major U.S. cities (data from 2009).
Convenience Store
Graph showing cost to build commercial building across major U.S. cities (data from 2009).
Fast Food Industry cost averages.

Convenience stores are generally less expensive to construct than the other building types because of their simpler nature.  The median cost for this commercial building type hovers around $100 per square foot.

Because of the new trends in fast food being more boutique and less assembly line, the cost for a typical fast food restaurant is on the rise. Expenses for kitchen equipment also drive this building type to a median of near $200 per square foot, the most expensive of the four building types in this discussion.

Graph showing cost to build commercial building across major U.S. cities (data from 2009).
Day Cares

It is increasingly important to understand the cost drivers for any commercial project and how building type, construction type, and location can all be huge variables that will drive your cost per square foot. These are always a part of the initial programming discussions, and the Architect will play a huge role in helping to define the expected ranges of cost to build a commercial building.

Ready to work with a company that understands prioritizing budget without sacrificing beauty? Let us know. EVstudio would love to make your vision a reality.

[Editor’s note: This post was based on data from and written in 2009.]


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274 thoughts on “Cost per Square Foot of Commercial Construction by Region”

  1. Hi Mimi, thanks for your question. This data is from 2009, so adjusting for inflation, you would be looking at between $160 and $200 per square foot to build that product mix, depending on level of finish and a number of other factors. So that would result in a new construction cost of between $576,000 and $720,000 for typical level of construction and finish. I hope that helps!

  2. I’m insuring a one story building that is 2500 sq ft retail clothing and 1100 sq ft apartment in the back. The retail store and apartment have a common wall. The building is located near downtown Los Angeles. Can you give me the cost per square foot to rebuild? Thank you.

  3. Hi Bethany,
    Thanks for your question. There is actually a post I’ve written specifically about construction cost for k-12 educational facilities that may be helpful. You can view that article here:
    That post was written a while ago (2013), so you can anticipate that construction costs have risen anywhere from 10%-20% depending on construction type and location. Another article that I’ve written about for higher education classrooms can be found here: You can navigate the additional links at the bottom of those posts to find additional articles on college laboratories, student unions and other project types.
    I hope that is helpful!

  4. Hi Dean,

    I was wondering if you could give me an idea of cost to build an education center in Toledo, Ohio. The facility would be similar to a library or museum in style. I’m currently putting together a business plan and looking at cost analysis. I appreciate your time.


  5. Vas,
    Thank you for your question – it is a very good one. We are often asked how to adapt historical data to current budget expectations. The easiest method is to calculate cost increases based on an index. Many construction cost indexes are available on the Internet, and often they come in the form of a chart which simply shows what Today’s cost would be if the historical cost of some previous year was one dollar. In that example, you would simply multiply today’s indexed cost to the cost per square footage of that previous year. The other way to calculate it is to compute the rate of inflation expanded over the number of years from that historical data. For the US, the average rate of inflation generally hovers around 3%. So if construction cost per square foot in 2009 was $100 per square foot, then for 2017, we would take $100 X 1.03 ^ 8. This results in a 26.7% increase, or a construction cost of $126.68. Note that local economies can have a significant impact on that average rate of inflation (as they also do with construction costs in general). In very hot markets, the rate of inflation could run up much higher over an extended period of time. In the long run, up and down markets take that average back down to a moderate number, however we have seen a strong recovery since 2012, and some markets are posting double digit percentage increases in construction cost per year for a few years running. This data should be readily available for most markets, and you would simply take that percentage per year and calculate the projected cost per square foot as shown above. I hope that helps and thank you for your question.

  6. Hello,
    Cost per SFT of commercial building on the website is 2009 cost. How much has gone up in major cities since 2009? Is 20-25% more in 2017 is a safe assumption?

  7. Mahdi, thank you for your question. Industrial buildings in Austin Texas typically run between $100 and $120 a square foot depending on site considerations, construction type and building program including level of finish. EVstudio does have an office in Austin and a great deal of expertise with these types of buildings. We would be happy to speak with you further about your project and help you take the next steps with architecture and engineering design. Please let me know if you have made a selection on your design team and if not, we would love to set up a meeting and go from there. Please email us at or call us at 303-670-7242. Thank you

  8. Hi,
    I’m starting a feasibility study to build a 5000 sf industrial hall in Austin – Texas. Could you please give me a rough estimated cost ?


  9. Hi,
    I want to know the expected cost of a covered building for industrial use in Austin – TX .

  10. Hi AJ,
    Thanks for your questions. We provide A/E design for projects all over the country and even a few internationally as well, so Ft Lauderdale is well within our area of service. To answer your questions, we should start at another article I’ve written that is specifically about mid rise office building costs per square foot:
    As you can see, the data suggests a turnkey cost of approximately $160/sq.ft. However, bear in mind that this article was written in 2012, so escalating that by the indexed growth will add nearly 20% and take you to a turnkey average cost of $192/sq.ft.. and given that’s an average, I’d say an acceptable range would be $185-$200/sq.ft.. Now, the core and shell of the building will represent approximately $120-$150 of that cost and the tenant finish will be in the neighborhood of $50-$80/sq.ft. Depending on a great many factors. Building efficiency and the amount of common area and amenities you have to finish as part of the core and shell as well as the level of finish for both the lobby areas as well as the tenant spaces for example will drive these numbers. Highly amenitized class AA and AAA buildings for example can easily run well above these averages. I hope this helps. If you would like to discuss further and program your project so you can get a better sense of scope and costs based on your specific project, please let me know and we can set up a time to talk. I can be reached at 303-670-7242 or Thanks!

  11. Hi Dean, I read your email exchange with Brad in Fort Lauderdale. We are also in Fort Lauderdale. Do you have representation here? Similar to Brad’s planning, I am planning to build a mixed use building that will initially build out for my office needs, which by completion (2019) will be 20k sf. When tenants inquire, we would build out with their lease agreements. I understand from your article and various responses that we would be in the range of $150sf for the area that is completed. I am not clear on what the cost would be for the unfinished areas. In a perfect world I will be able to build 6-8 floors at roughly 150ft / 100ft, including one or two levels of under building parking. The immediate question is what it costs for unfinished open footage? thanks so much, AJ

  12. Understood Michael,
    Our construction cost information is based on RSMeans data along with past project data on projects that we’ve been involved with. I don’t have any examples of projects that specific to your use or location. I would suggest reaching out to other contractors in the area who have worked on similar projects and see if they will share that information with you. Good luck and if you are in need of a world class A/E design team to help you with the design, please let us know. Thanks!

  13. Michael Tomczak

    thanks, but I am trying to find some reference material on recently completed Casinos in the general vacinity of this property. I have costs per Sq Ft for the contractor and need 2 comparibles

  14. Michael,
    I’m certain we can help. In rough numbers, you should be able to use $200/sq.ft. as a starting point for an average across all product types. Then adjust up or down based on factors such as level of finish, complexity, etc.. if you can send us your plans to, we’d be happy to review them and give you a more refined estimate of construction cost. If you don’t have plans yet, we’d be happy to work with you on developing everything from initial concepts to full permit drawings that are designed to meet your budget. Just let us know how we can help. Thanks!

  15. Michael Tomczak

    Doing a plan and cost review of a Casino expansion in Gulfport Mississippi. I am having trouble digging up cost breakdowns for this type of facility. Any suggestions of where I would start my search?

  16. Steven,
    While I have not written an article about construction costs for this project type, we do have experience with this product and your range of $100-$110 per square foot for the Chicago area should be reasonably accurate for a starting point in your pro forma. The cost is more or less depending on the location in the country, and the Chicago area tends to run a bit higher than the median. Best of luck with your project and if you need any architectural or engineering resources, please let us know. Thanks!

  17. Dean,

    I’m working on a cost analysis for a client who wants to build a one-story, 40,000 SF pre-cast concrete panel warehouse/manufacturing plant. It would be located in west suburban Chicago. Not including site work I’m finding the costs to be in the range between $100 and $110 per square foot. I could not find any data on your website regarding this building type. Can you confirm that I am in the right “Ballpark” with this range?

  18. Francisco,
    Thanks for your question. There are two other posts that you may find helpful for your project. One discusses various project characteristics within MultiFamily and Mixed Use and their associated costs: The other is a bit older, but outlines the cost per square foot for multifamily projects by region at the time: Note that data from 2012 must be indexed based on inflation and growth to properly adjust for today’s dollars (approximately 1.15X total over the last 5 years for the US aggregate, but an index should be specific to your location for better accuracy).

    Without knowing certain cost driving characteristics of your project like level of finish, level of complexity, type of construction, issues specific to the site or location, it’s difficult to give you any certainty on an actual budget. However, if you were to plan for the median type of product in your location, I think a range of $180-$220 per square foot with a median of $200 would be a reasonable starting point.

    As for a parking structure, above grade costs can range from $15k-$30k per parking space depending on many factors from construction type, location, design of garage and adjacency to other structures. Going below grade would definitely be towards the higher end of that, and in some cases higher depending on subsurface conditions, water table, etc..

    Your design team should use your pro forma budget requirements to design within the construction cost range you are targeting. Unfortunately, not all designers are well trained to do that. EVstudio does have an affiliate in California and would be happy to discuss how we can help you with the design of your project to meet your design and budget goals. Just let us know how we can help!

  19. Good morning Dean.
    I’m planing to build a 3 story multi use building in San Diego CA, with 4 commercial units on the bottom floor and 6 residential units on the second and 3rd floor with one elevator, for a total of 16 units, totaling 16,000.00 SQ Foot of building area, with a 20 space parking lot, (new construction on a flat land) do you think a $200.00 per square foot will take me there? and if I want to build a basement parking structure what cost I’m I looking at for that additional build? Appreciate your input.
    Thank you

  20. Bill,
    Thanks for reaching out. For a strip mall as you described in the Benson area, I would expect base building construction costs to be in the range of $70-$120 per square foot range. As you outlined, strip retail is typically core and shell build-out with tenants largely handling their own finish out, so this cost range does not include tenant finish costs. Depending on your target tenant profile, many factors of course would apply as the building exterior can be designed to attract a high-end boutique tenant, or an economy tenant, but should be consistent for your brand. We have a great deal of experience with retail strip design and can provide a convenient streamlined one stop shop for all of the Architecture and Engineering required for permitting and construction of your project. If you would like a proposal for design services for this project, please let me know and we can arrange an initial meeting to discuss further. Thanks!

  21. Nick,
    Thanks for reaching out. For single story vanilla shell as you described in the San Diego area, I would expect base building construction costs to be in the range of $100-$140 per square foot – many factors of course would apply. We have a great deal of experience with retail and convenience restaurant design and can provide a convenient streamlined one stop shop for all of the Architecture and Engineering required for permitting and construction of your projects. If you would like a proposal for design services for a specific project, or a master services agreement for multiple projects, please let me know and we can arrange an initial meeting to discuss further. Thanks!

  22. Mariam,
    Thanks for your question. If I understand you correctly, you’re looking for a soft cost estimate for the design and engineering for this project. Without a detailed program, we would start with a ballpark, then refine from there. New construction A/E costs can generally run 5%-7% of estimated construction cost. However, additions can get messy depending on the nature of the existing conditions and depending on the level of renovation/reuse as well as the level of finish and detail, and therefore could be as high as 10%. This would be for Architecture, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Civil Engineering for the complete permit and construction package. We provide all of these disciplines in-house, and have a great depth of experience with banquet halls and entertainment/hospitality design. If you would like a more formal proposal, please let me know and we can arrange an initial meeting to discuss the project further in more detail. Thanks!

  23. Hello ,
    desire to do a Demolition and 33,000 SF Additions to an existing banquet hall in NJ area close proximity with NY including the cost for New HVAC equipment 220Tons total , ducts ,bathroom , kitchen areaet.c. which we have the bid on Can you please give me an idea what is estimated projected planning cost per sq ft be?
    Thank you

  24. Hi Dean,
    Thanks for sharing those graphs and estimates. Very interesting. What’s your take on current building costs for vanilla shell condition buildings ranging 3000 sqft to 6000 sqft in San Diego? Retail/Food or drive through places predominately.
    Thanks a lot in advance.

  25. Good morning
    I am looking to build a retail strip mall around benson nc. So far the outline looks to be an L shaped building holding about 29000 sqft. I have looked at different cost from 60 to 140 dollars a sqft for an open shell building. What is your thoughts on cost.

    Thank you

  26. Hi Eric, thank you for your question. The cost per square foot data in the study does not include any site improvements like parking lot costs or landscaping. These numbers are solely for the building cost itself. In your location, you should expect the building cost to fall within a range of $175-$215 per square foot, depending on a variety of factors related to the specific design characteristics of the building. The site costs will be entirely dependent on your unique lot and what improvements would be necessary. If you are looking for an architecture and engineering design team that has a depth of experience and expertise with office building design, please let me know and we would be happy to work with you on this project. Thanks and best of luck!

  27. Hi,
    I’m in the process of considering to develop a piece of land witha professional building, and I have a few questions. One the cost per square foot for a commercial professional building, does that include parking lot, landscaping, outside, or is it just the structure itself? What would be the average cost per square foot to building a 5700 square foot professional building 40 miles south of chicago (60491) ?

  28. Stan,
    It sounds like an interesting project, while RSMeans does provide line item information for specific construction activities as a for fee service, their generalized index costs per square foot do not easily apply to a renovations, much less a program this specific. Be that as it may, in practice, we have been seeing $30-$60 per square foot on core and shell renovations, depending on a wide variety of considerations. These types of re-use projects typically require all new MEP systems and distribution. The inclusion of restrooms for each tenant space should be considered, and storefront is typically a complete re-do. Not knowing the specifics behind your project, I’d be guessing at some of these items, but that range would be a starting point until you could get more definitive plans put together to have a contractor develop actual line item costs to verify. I hope that helps, and thank you for the reference!

  29. I am working on a conceptual study of the risk involved in purchasing a larger drug store in Columbia, SC that may become vacant in the next 5 years due to mergers occurring between Walgreens and Rite Aide. Out building is a 14,000 SF and we are wondering what a ballpark range would be to professionally partition this building into five-six tenant spaces of about 2,500 to 3,500 SF each. This meaning that the existing walls of the store would still be in place. New retail fronts and door would need to be added. Do not consider any major facade redesign. This is just assuming common or average retail upfit with typical MEP/Flooring/Sheetrock (vanilla shell). Anything more will cause the rent to increase to offset the costs. Any help is greatly appreciated. I will also refer the person I am working with to your services.

  30. Jacky,
    This sounds like a great project as a hobbyist musician, I have a particular interest in music oriented design projects. Typical base level office tenant finish will ordinarily run $40-$60/per square foot. A music studio is definitely a higher level of finish than the base level though, and with the acoustic and technological requirements, and given your location, the $110/sq.ft. doesn’t sound unreasonable. Not having any specific plans to go off of, I can see how a sound studio can easily approach that. I’ve seen luxury office suites run up to three times that based solely on the kinds of finishes chosen. And acoustic treatments are not cheap. I hope that helps – best of luck with your project!

  31. Hi,

    Recently I’m going to open up a music studio in 1750 sq ft retail store in San Jose, I have a bid estimate of the construction which including 10 rooms with metal stud frame, insulations,sheet rock sound proof STC 60, HVAC ductwork,LED light regarding T-24 compliance, drop T-bar ceiling, remodel ADA restroom, 10 new doors, replace store front door, carpet (1330 sq ft) , laminated wood floor(330 sq ft), ADA parking lot & all the plans designs plus city permit submittals. Comes up total around $190,000.00. So it’s about $110/ sq ft. Is it in fair price? I’m new business owner so I don’t have any experience on pricing of the construction, please help~. Thank you and appreciate!

  32. Jeff,
    Based on your contact info, I am assuming you are in Dallas, TX. A more relevant post for you might be this one I wrote specifically for MultiFamily projects:
    With escalations for the past four years applied to the average cost for Dallas, I’d say you’re within the realm of feasibility for a typical level of finish. We do a lot of business in Dallas out of our Texas office, and would be happy to discuss how we can help you further with this project. I will have Jim Salyer, our Director of Texas operations reach out to you separately and we can go from there. Thanks!

  33. We have a 145 x 61 existing slab. We wish to build a two story building, steel, glass, and stucco, for 5 apartments per floor, 10 total, with parking below on the existing slab. These would be upscale apartments, with almost entirely glass on the elevation facing downtown, with balconies. I was budgeting $170\ sqft. Am I in the realm of feasibility please.

  34. Dan,
    Thanks for your questions. Construction cost in urban versus rural environments depends on many factors. Availability of labor and materials often reduces construction cost in urban areas, however site logistics can be much easier in rural areas, lowering costs. So it really depends on the specific locations to assess a good comparison.

    As for construction type, wood construction will certainly be your least cost option. However, use and occupancy will typically dictate the construction type you must use based on the building code. From what you described, a building size that small should be able to be built with wood construction per the code.

    With all of that being said, I would expect a project that you described to fall between $80 and $100 per square foot, depending on site considerations, design complexity and level of finish. Strip retail is typically build out as a core and shell product with the tenants handling some or all of the tenant finish costs. That is of course something that would be negotiated in each of your lease agreements, and should be considered in your overall pro forma. We have completed hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial retail space very similar to this and would be happy to assist you in taking the next steps.

    I will have Jim Salyer, our regional director for Texas office reach out to you separately. We would be happy to discuss this project with you further and can assist you with the architecture and engineering services you would need to secure the permits and build the project.

    Thanks again!

  35. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    I’m looking to build a small strip mall, about 10-12,000 sqft in rural Hopkins County in Northeast Texas. I have a few tenants interested already (a gym, a health food store, a juice bar/healthy food restaurant). I figure I can have at least four decent spaces there.

    The land is outside the city limits, so just in the county, but close enough to likely be annexed by the city so they get their taxes once we build. Utilities are readily available.

    Are the costs for construction usually much cheaper in rural environments versus city? If so, how much is the average or general range? Is there a certain type of construction that is most cost effective (stick vs steel vs concrete)?

    Thank you very much for any advice you can provide!

  36. Henry,
    Thanks for reaching out – we’re happy to help. First, you are correct in that there is definitely an economy of scale when you are building out a complete project as opposed to breaking it up into a core and shell and separate TI piece. With a working budget of $142.50, that does seem on the low end of things. There is a wide range of course on projects like this and the level of finish plays a significant role in the overall costs. I might start a core and shell for the building at $90-$110/sq.ft., then consider the interior finish. that would leave you roughly $40/sq.ft. to finish. This can be done if you’re ok with more of a spartan aesthetic. If your FF&E budget covers the atmosphere you’re looking to achieve, then that may be just fine, though you mentioned that includes your contingency. Which puts you in a risky zone if you’re going in knowing that you’ll be spending your contingency (then it’s not really a contingency – it’s part of your budget). Having just completed the design for the Celtic Tavern in Denver, we do have some very current data that may be applicable. In that case, the owner already had a great deal of the FF&E that created the ambiance and the building itself was really just a shell. In any case, I will have Jim Salyer, our Regional Director in our Austin office reach out to you directly. He can help you hone your scope and numbers so you have the best information going in to the project. We have a depth of experience with restaurants, both ground up as well as TI, so I’m certain we can help you take the next steps. Thanks!

  37. Hello Dean – Writing from Austin Texas – this is a great website and thanks for taking the time educate us less than experienced budding property developers.

    Above I see that you break down the cost of the shell and mechanical from the inside build which brings me to a finished cost of anywhere between $120-$210. I am trying to develop a 4,000 sq ft stand alone restaurant on property my company currently owns in Austin (nice level lot with utilities readily available) and I am trying to nail down build cost estimates. The build would be for a fit and finish inline with a nice Irish pub. My business plan estimate was $125 sq ft for a complete build with $70k in contingency monies for a total sq ft cost of $142.50.

    That being said – are there economies of scale when you develop a building from start to finish and do the build out at the same time? In your opinion, do you think my price per sq ft is low? FYI – We are just talking about the building, HVAC, plumbing fixtures, and electrical. No kitchen equipment or kitchen counters, furniture, or anything else. Closest comparison I can make would be walking into a new house.


    Thanks – Henry

  38. Rukhsana,
    Thank you for your question. We actually have a great deal of experience designing strip malls all over Texas out of our Austin branch office. Typically, these projects build out in two phases. The first phase is what we call a “core and shell”, which is the overall building and site, finished on the outside and with all primary mechanical and electrical systems in place. Then, the second phase would be a “tenant finish “phase where either the building owner or the individual tenant completes the interior finish of the specific tenant space.

    There are many variables that affect construction cost, however for a typical strip mall in Texas, we would expect the core and shell phase to range anywhere between $90 and $120 per square foot. The tenant finish cost is even more difficult to nail down without knowing who the tenant is, and what kind of use it will be (retail, restaurant, etc.). We typically advise clients to plan for between $30 and $60 per square foot for typical tenant finish costs. With an actual user and a complete design program, we can get significantly closer with all of these numbers. Please note that these are building construction costs only and do not include land costs, finance costs, soft costs, site improvement costs, entitlements costs, or FF&E costs.

    I will have our Texas Director of Architecture, Jim Salyer, reach out to you separately. With Jim’s extensive experience and knowledge with strip retail projects, he can provide more information after learning a little bit more about your project. Thanks!

  39. Lance, thanks for reaching out. I have actually written another article that is more specific to multi-family projects over eight stories. While that article is geared more towards for-rent product, it is certainly still applicable. The link to that article can be found here:

    What you will see is that construction in the mid rise sector is quite a bit more expensive than low rise construction. This is because the construction type has to be of a non-combustible structure. For the project you are describing, if it were to be built in a comparable location in the US, it would be over $200 a square foot. You described 2500 square-foot condominium units and only two per floor – this tells me these are likely high-end luxury units. Only having two units per floor also creates a lot of inefficiency in the building that will also drive cost per square foot. As a result, your construction costs could easily reach $250 a square foot or more, again, if built in the US. Please note that these figures are for the construction cost of the finished buildings only and do not include land costs, finance costs, soft costs, FF&E, site development costs, offsite improvements or governmental regulations that would need to be addressed.

    In order to bring that number down, if there is any way to rethink how the units fit into the footprint on the site, you can gain much greater efficiency by putting more units on each floor and have fewer buildings. The other consideration is very specific to Costa Rica. I actually have some experience with a developer that did a number of projects in Costa Rica and there were two major challenges that drove cost. The first was the approvals process that was unnecessarily cumbersome and impacted the schedule for the project. The second was the procurement of concrete and other materials for those projects. Before you get too far into the design, I would highly recommend you secure a negotiated agreement with a contractor that is very experienced in your specific location and that has great connections in the materials and labor markets in your area.

    I hope that helps. If you have any further questions, or if you would like to discuss how we may be able to help you with the design of your project, please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time at 303-670-7242 or We are highly creative when it comes to great design with tight budgets. And we are very experienced with multi family projects as well as working internationally and we would welcome the discussion. Thanks!

  40. Hey Dean-
    Love that you spend the time actually answering questions that others may have whether for general knowledge or for an upcoming project. We recently paid off our land in Costa Rica and interested in building 80 condo units (4 buildings, 10 stories each, 2 units per floor, 2500 square feet per unit) totaling 200,000 square feet. Obviously the construction costs will be somewhat different (higher material costs, lower labor costs, etc) however what would the median construction costs be for this type of project if it was in the US?

  41. What is the average cost of building wooden structured striped mall in and around Harris County, Texas – USA

  42. Thanks for your question Courtney. Unfortunately though, it’s like asking “How long is a piece of string?”. There’s no way to answer it without more information. Like the size, plumbing fixture count, level of finish, etc.. And even with all of that, the RSMeans cost data that we’re working from here in this post doesn’t get into that level of detail. However, that level of detail is available (for a fee) from RSMeans if you would like to seek out the industry expectations for any specific project- be advised though that you would need to build it up from individual trade line items, the very same way a contractor would. Best of luck with your project!

  43. Trying to figure out a commercial bathroom remodel in Houston. What do you think the contractor should come in at per sq. ft. Thanks

  44. Edrian,
    I don’t have data outside the US, however, if I were to build a two story office building in a similar location in the US, I would use $150-$180 USD per square foot. This depends on a great many factors, but for your purposes, should be a good starting point. You will have to convert both currency and area units to get a figure you can likely work with. Best of luck on your project!

  45. Hey Dean,
    If you would ask where we are located, we are situated in the Philippines. 🙂 Thanks agaaaaaain

  46. Hey Dean!

    Me and my schoolmates are tasked to make a business plan. Our project is a potential electrical company which is tasked for distribution purposes. I would like to ask how much will we be our possible cost if we will put up a two story building which occupies 1000 square meters. Probably, cement will be the major component of our building. I really hope you can reply since I am not an expert on this kind of stuffs. Thanks!

  47. Sunitha,
    For typical tenant finish space, we typically use anywhere from $30-$60 a square foot depending on the level of finish that you’re looking for provided the existing space already has mechanical, plumbing and electrical service that simply needs to be re-distributed, and there are no changes to the structural or exterior core and shell the building.

    However, there is an important thing to note here because you are describing classroom space, which could be a change of use for the existing building. If you change the use from retail to assembly space, you may also have to provide upgrades to the existing building for fire separation walls to adjacent spaces, sprinklers, exiting, accessibility upgrades, and upgrades to mechanical systems. You might even have to add additional parking on site, depending on the zoning the building is in.

    So it really depends on the nature of the building if this change of use would create additional costs above typical tenant finish costs or not. For older buildings, this can create the real problem as they were not originally designed to code as a change in use requires upgrades across the board to the current codes (in other words, no grandfathering of existing conditions).

    Because of this, I highly advise you to have a licensed Architect look at the existing space with you so they can tell you what you would have to plan for and if the space is appropriate for what you were looking to do without major costly alterations to the existing building. A few hours of someone’s time is well worth the potential of making a mistake that could cost you literally tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars more than you need to.

    I hope that helps. Best of luck with your project!

  48. Hi
    I am looking for cost estimates in seattle area converting a retail space used currently as storage into 4 classroom, a small kitchen and bathrooms (2 and 2 for boys and girls with 2-3 sinks) . The total sqft space is 4400. How much would it cost approximately?

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  50. Greg,
    Your assumptions are correct – these costs are strictly building costs and do not include site development costs or site work. Those would be on a separate ledger for your pro forma. Similarly, these costs also don’t include land costs, finance costs, Soft costs or FF&E. I hope that helps!

  51. Jim,
    We do have loads of information on retail costs as that is a core market that we serve in our A/E business. Can you be more specific about what you’re looking for – specific location, particular retail submarket/product type? Happy to help.

  52. Good morning Dean,
    I am starting a cost analysis for a project located in the Washington D.C. Metro area. The project is a base building with three individual units. One unit has the interest of a major coffee shop company and it will require a drive through window. I used the 2009 chart and added a 3% yearly multiplier. The base line comes to $172.30 per sq. ft.. I believe this is a good starting point however my question to you is, does the chart take in account of the site work, landscaping, exterior pole lighting, parking lot, etc.? Or is it just the cost of the building? I am assuming that all of the site work listed above would require additional costs. What are your thoughts?
    Thank you very much,

  53. Hello
    Do you have any data for buildng out in line retail locations compared to high street locations in the major markets in the US approximately 5,000 sq feet.

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  55. Rudy,
    Excellent question! Construction costs vary every year, so no, it would not be appropriate to apply 2009 figures to anything beyond 2009. However, it’s very simple to adjust for any given year up to the present year by using a construction cost index. This is essentially a simple multiplier that you apply to the numbers in the chart based on the difference between the adjusted index for 2009 and this year. See the following link for the RSMeans Construction Cost Index numbers for every year dating back to the ’60’s as well as instructions on how to use it:
    Best of luck!

  56. Dean,

    Thank you so much for this informative article. I noticed this was written in 2009. Would these figures hold true for 2016?

  57. Foad, thanks for your question. That will definitely depend on the particular city you are in. Our experience is that utilities themselves are most cost effective to connect (dry utilities) and/or tap (wet utilities) in the urban core of a city because the infrastructure is built for that and fees are most advantageous for most major cities because of the economy of scale and a City’s desire to attract development. Out on the edge, certain infrastructure may or may not be as readily available, and if you are outside certain districts, tap fees typically rise the further out of the urban core you get. These are not hard and fast rules though. Every city is unique and each would need to be analyzed based on its specific infrastructure conditions and available utility providers.

  58. is the cost of construction inside the city utility zone more, less, or the same for a property on the edge of the city limit

  59. Pingback: Commercial Real Estate Construction Cost Per Square Foot | Real Estate License Index

  60. Thanks Robert for your information – we always welcome the input and experience of others in the industry.

  61. Robert Raymond

    This is such a refreshing site to see! No one is asking for a trial period or fees of any kind…just input and feedback! I am a commercial real estate broker with decades of experience and several hundred thousand square feet of re-development in the greater north east. At this time, depending on the market, the fit-up costs…ie.. the cost of refurbishing an existing space(vanilla box) is running about $50-$60 s/f. So for example, a 2000s/f former tenanted space that has existing HVAC, electricity, and bathroom(s) will cost about $100-$120K to re-purpose. That is contingent on a number of issues such as if the existing vacant space space(say an old big box of 20,000s/f) is being sub-divided(now you need to break up the utilities) and must install demising fire-proof walls that may also require new ingress/egress doors, ADA compliancy as well as fire safety and a host of other 21st century codes all of which will double those figures. For new developments the issues are sometimes more onerous but less costly and therefore the costs can be better controlled. Get back to me if you would like to know more.

  62. Gary,
    Thank you for your question. The data that we published here is available only for cities in the United States. The provider of the information, RS Means, very well may offer construction cost data for Mexico. I would suggest going to and contacting someone there who may be able to help you. Domestically, Walmart type projects run between $100 and $130 per square foot, depending on location and details specific to each store. Whether Mexico City would be higher or lower than that range is beyond my expertise. I would suspect that the cost of labor may be lower, but the cost of materials and entitlements could offset that. Best of luck with your project!

  63. Sirs,
    I am an MBA student with the University of Maryland overseas campus at Aviano Air Base, Italy. Our class team is tasked with writing a project plan for design and construction of a Walmart type commercial store in Mexico City. We’ve searched all over for data concerning design and construction costs to no avail.
    This doesn’t have to be fine science but we need to get close to a reasonable estimate of the project.
    Would you be kind enough to point us in the right direction to obtain this information?
    Thank you in advance for your assistance.
    Gary C. LaGassey (

  64. Tad,
    A more complete analysis of construction costs per square foot for apartments can be found here: and here: for various sizes of buildings. Note however that the RSMeans study is limited to locations in the continental US. However, in general, Honolulu costs generally rank similar to New York and San Francisco costs, so I would plan for the high 200’s per square foot as a starting point. EVstudio has a depth of expertise in multifamily design and we also have an affiliate in Honolulu. We would be happy to discuss your project with you and provide you with Architecture services for your project. Just let us know and we can arrange a meeting. Thanks!

  65. Winston,
    The RSMeans data is for new construction, so it isn’t readily applicable to renovation projects. However, EVstudio has extensive experience in commercial renovations and can provide a conceptual starting point for establishing a budget that would then need to be validated by design development and iterative pricing. There are a great many factors that can influence the costs of a renovation project, but if you are taking it to the core and shell, and replacing MEP systems, a median level of interior finish would likely land you in a cost range of $80-$130 per square foot. The trick is that you are working with a small square footage, so that will be highly price sensitive to large line item costs, like bringing in 3-phase. Intended use and level of finish are also highly influential to the cost, and without a schematic design and demo plan, can only be conservatively forecast. I’m assuming a professional class A level of office finish, but there can be substantial savings if the resulting space is a lower level of finish.

  66. wanting to remodel an existing 3,500 sq ft brick office building in St Louis area. total inside gut with new ac/heat and taking 1 bath (small) and making 2 ada accessible bath rooms. it has a 200 am service panel now, would need to rewire as the build out goes, and add 3 phase which we have the bid on. Can you advise what our estimated projected planning cost per sq ft be?

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  68. Eugene,
    Thanks for your question. There are a wide number of variables that would need to be considered, mostly pertaining to the level of the existing conditions, how much renovation is required of the systems (Mechanical, Plumbing, Electrical), and the level of finish of the final product. Generally, we would estimate up to $40-$60 per square foot for tenant finishes in an existing building, provided the existing core and shell does not require any additional work. And if finished bathrooms and other amenities are already provided, that TI budget could come down substantially. We have an office in Texas and I will have our Regional Director reach out to you. He can help you zero in on your budget, and hopefully we can also work with you for the Architecture and Engineering work for the permitting and construction. We have a depth of experience with day care facilities and would love to learn more about your project. Thanks!

  69. hello sir, I’m trying to build a day care in side a shell of a building thats 4000sq ft. just checking to see what the square footage should cost in houston tx.

  70. Amanda,
    What exactly is your question? I’d need considerably more information in order to provide an informed response on cost. Though you mentioned apartments, perhaps this link on multifamily construction cost that I wrote a while back may help:
    Take what you see there and add about 5% for escalation since 2012 and that would be a good index starting point. Best of luck with your project and if you need Architecture or Engineering for your project, we would be happy to discuss. We have a team of multifamily experts that have completed award winning projects all over the US and Canada. Thanks!

  71. Hi…I have 2 commercial lots in NJ.

    Both over 100K Sq. Feet; 116k on one and 114 on another. both are apartments, tricky lots. one wants walks done and that’s 20K Square Feet. Again, this is in NJ. Please plz reply with thuoghts…bid is due monday..


  72. Michael,
    For a stand-alone restaurant in your location, I would plan for a range of $180-$210 per square foot. Many factors can influence that, not the least of which is the level of finish you anticipate building. These numbers also do not include F F & E, so you will need to run a separate budget for furnishings trade fixtures and specialty equipment for your operation. The numbers for that are as varied as there are variations in the restaurant industry. We have a team of designers that are steeped in restaurant design, so please let us know how we can help you with the design and permitting of your project. Thanks!

  73. How are you sir? I want build about 5000 sq feet restaurant at west Des Moines Iowa. How much per sq feet. Thanks.

  74. Thanks Guillermo for your question. I’m unclear though – is this an existing building that you plan to finish out? Is the office use a use-by-right for the zoning? And is it a change to the current occupancy? Assuming yes for all three, you will need to take the existing building up to code for the proposed office use. This could be very complicated and expensive or fairly straightforward and reasonable, depending on the existing conditions. Assuming the existing conditions do not present any code concerns (ADA, fire, egress, etc.), and is a good core and shell building, with reasonably easy access to necessary utilities, then the finish cost for office space will range between $25-$50 per square foot, depending on the level of finish you are looking for. The cost, of course, is highly influenced by many factors. We provide design services in California, and have an affiliate in LA. We would be happy to speak with you more about your project and help you with the design and permitting if you would like. Just email us directly at or call us at 303-670-7242 and we can go from there. Thanks!

  75. guillermo salinas

    Can you tell me what it will cost to build 2,500 sq ft of office space in a warehouse in Irwindale CA? Can you give a ballpark of the going rate? I would need bathrooms, break room, offices and an open area for cubicles..

  76. Sybil,
    Thanks for reaching out. I have actually written an article that is more focused on office buildings:

    Your project sounds more like office warehouse space, so I might discount the numbers on those charts. The result would be a conceptual budget starting point of approximately $150 per square foot. This would be for the building itself and not include any land costs, site entitlement or development costs, finance or soft costs or FF&E.

    If you need Architecture or Engineering services, please let us know. We have experts in office building design and we operate all over the country. We’d love to speak with you about your project!

  77. Hi Dean,

    I am trying to get an an estimate on building 4 separate spaces that would all be of the same construction – generally. Exterior to be steel, galvanized roof, stamped concrete floor, open structure with tongue and groove hemlock or pine with scissor truss. Small offices in each building. Size ranges … 5200 sq ft, 3000 sq ft, 9400 sq ft and 16,000 sq ft. Located in Pittsburgh, PA. I appreciate you attention – thank you.


  78. From Jim: Thanks. We are in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our tastes are upper mid class without any flimflam attached. We would like a dining room with seating for approximately and a grill room with bar and seating for 30. I hope this helps.

    Reply: Jim, With a full kitchen and dining area, with a level of finish that you described in Cincinnati, You should budget between $140 and $190 per square foot for your project. So at 4500 sq.ft., that would be a median conceptual budget cost of approximately $750k, with as much as $100k on either side of that, depending on a great number of details. This cost would be separate from land costs, finance costs, FF&E costs or any site improvement costs (parking lots, landscaping, etc.). I hope that helps – we would be happy to discuss your project with you in more detail – As I mentioned, our Director of Architecture, Bill Foster, is an expert in golf resort facilities and we would love to work with you on the Architecture and Engineering for your project. Please let us know if you are interested in discussing that further, what your next steps look like, and how we can help. Thanks!

  79. Hello Jim,
    Thank you for reaching out with your comment. Before we can offer much input on your construction cost, we would need to know where you are located as project location has a significant influence on construction costs. I will reach out directly to you via email so we can continue the discussion along with our Director of Architecture, Bill Foster. Bill is an expert in golf resorts, facilities and clubhouse design, and we would love to speak with you in more detail about this project. Thanks!

  80. Looking to build a golf clubhouse with finished basement locker roooms. Approximate total square footage will be 4500. Attached covered deck approximately 20×50.
    Kitchen will be included.

  81. Jin,
    I’m happy to help – but I will need to know where your project is located first. Construction costs can be very sensitive to geographic location. Please post the location of your project, and any other details that may be relevant, and we will do our best to help provide you the information you need. Thanks!

  82. Hi my name is Jin.
    I want to find out around how much cost for Martial Art studio.
    Approximately 6000sqf building.
    Please give me some information .

  83. Ken,
    Thanks for your question. We have a considerable amount of expertise in this project type in several markets, including Southeast Texas. The trick to answering your question is determining how much, if any, of the existing space is re-useable for the bakery. For example, if it was previously a deli or coffee shop or some other similar use, there will be substantial advantages in terms of utilities and systems, existing bathrooms, etc.. If it was previously an office or retail space, will any of the finishes be retained (flooring, ceiling grid, etc.). And if it is a core-and shell space, how much finish was provided in terms of heating, cooling, electrical, slab, bathrooms, etc.. Typically, initial conceptual budgets for what we would call a “cold dark shell” (raw unfinished, unheated space), would be between $40 and $60 per square foot for finishes – towards the higher end of that for up-scale as you’ve described. These numbers do not include FF&E, which is typically substantial in these types of operations. This would be the ovens, refrigeration and any other kitchen equipment or dining area furnishings you are planning on. A quick kitchen design and restaurant layout would enable a kitchen equipment supplier to provide you with very accurate costs to anticipate.

    We have an office in Texas and would be happy to work with you on the space planning, design and engineering necessary for the project. Please let me know and I can arrange for Don Eckols, our Regional Director to reach out separately and you can take the next steps. Thanks Ken and we look forward to hearing back from you!

  84. Hello Dean,

    I am working with a client in Houston that would like to do a up-scale bakery project approx. 6,000 sf to be finished out in an existing lease space in Houston. My client is asking me for the cost of the Architect/Engineering services along with the cost for construction. I’m from Brazil and I’m not sure about the cost from this Region, so can you help me out with this.

  85. Nessreen,
    Thank you for your inquiry. Our regional director in our Texas office, Don Eckols, can follow up with you directly on your questions. We have a great deal of experience with projects like this in Texas and would be happy to help you with your project. Don will reach out to you directly, within the next few days. Thanks!

  86. Thanks for the useful article. i have a fastfood restaurant project in texas , the client estimated $80k re-design, remodeling of location, and furniture
    $100k for the equipment
    $20k for the kitchen remodelling
    $50k for the signage and screens.
    i am not from texas so i don’t really know about the prices 😀 i looked in different sites on the internet but it was useless.
    i have some questions concerning the building .
    In Texas ,how much does it cost and which is more sustainable and reduces the cost : building using wood or concrete or steel ? and which of those is suitable for the $80k estimated by the client ?

  87. It’s my pleasure Ray. Best of luck stepping forward and we look forward to hearing from you once you’re ready to discuss Architecture and Engineering design.

  88. Thanks Dean:

    I am now able to complete my initial financial stage of study. Your information was extremely helpful in that I was able to eliminate possible overlaps. I will be able to take another step. My thanks. I will be touch as the project progresses.


  89. Good questions Ray! This data is based on an “average” level of finish, which would include tenant finishes, but not tenant FF&E, as those are by the tenant. RSMeans takes data from all sorts of sources, and they build up the construction cost from labor and materials indexed unit costs with a regional multiplier for local costs. So, this is not an exact science by any stretch and the result is that it simply creates a data point (one of many) to establish a starting budget. Other data points would be to study recently constructed buildings of similar type in the area, contractor’s opinions of probable costs and anything else that would help to validate a starting budget. Then of course, that budget would define the program (size of building, number of floors, overall concept for construction type and level of finish) that we would then design to. Then, the iterative process of design and validation at each step so that the end result of the design does not result in any surprises.

    We would love to work with you Ray, so just let me know when you are ready to take the next steps and we can discuss further. Thanks!

  90. Hi Dean:

    Thank you for the information. It is extremely helpful. I reviewed your Article but I wasn’t certain as to what it covered. I referred to the RS Means site and still needed some clarity. RS Means has direct plus overhead/supervision and architectural/engineering totaling $160, so with regional adjustment around $200. Are tenant improvements and parking included in the $200 number?

    i am at a very early stage and trying to measure preliminary feasibility. Environmental theme is critical to create a difference that will show in rents and operating costs. Anyhow, as the project moves forward, I will contact you regarding consultants. Thank you.

    Ray .

  91. Ray,

    Thank you for your inquiry. I’ve actually written an article on multi-story office building construction costs that is more relevant to your project. It is here:

    From that chart, you will see that LA is nearing $200 per square foot for up to four stories of office. That boils down to a $40M project in round approximate numbers. Level of finish, both for the interior and the exterior, as well as technology and systems can play a large role in that. The assumption here is a Class A Office Building – especially with a LEED Silver designation.

    EVstudio has a team of Office Building Experts who have designed a number of buildings across the country, many of which are LEED certified. We do have a Los Angeles affiliate if you would like to discuss Architectural Design and Engineering for your project in more depth. We would love to assist you on your project and help you take the next steps. Please let us know if you are interested in that and we can contact you privately to set up a free initial consultation. Thanks!

  92. Trying to estimate the direct construction cost of a 200,000 square foot, 4 story commercial building in Los Angeles. Target is LEED Silver Certification. Thank you.

  93. Liam,
    I’m not sure what you are asking. Are you talking about all new electrical in an existing building renovation? Rough-In only or Finished? Any idea about use/occupancy? This data isn’t fine grained enough to extrapolate to any specific discipline, however, RSmeans does provide discipline specific information. I suggest you check out if you’re bidding individual trades. Best of luck!

  94. How much does it cost to install electric per sq ft in a existing commercial building?

  95. Thanks Dean! I figured that amount from researching your site – we are looking at a few properties and talking with the city and trying to get a business plan going…we would definitely like your help and I will get you more specific info as soon as we settle on a property. Many thanks, and I would love to see what your Designer did in Colorado!

  96. Kelly,
    Thanks for your inquiry. Without much more information than that, I would advise you to start with a budget of at least $200 per square foot for the kind of atmosphere you would typically see in a distillery. This would not include the equipment for the distillation or bottling process, or any of the other Furnishings, Fixtures or Equipment (FF&E). To get a better handle on the construction costs, closer cost estimates could occur after a full programming of the project, and a line item qualified budget after a Schematic Design. Our Interior Designer has recently completed a distillery in Colorado that is incredibly successful. If you would like to discuss how we can assist you in the design, let us know and we would love to help. Thanks!

  97. Hi Dean,
    Great site! I am trying to price out the build for a distillery and tasting room in southern Oregon – I’ll need a small pro kitchen and distillery around 5,000 sq ft. Would also like to consider solar/wind at the start. I have no idea where to start researching this..any advice would be appreciated!

  98. Aretha,
    That’s great that the zoning grants you that use by right – that’s a big battle you don’t need to deal with. So, the building will still need to undergo a change of use, assuming the upper two floors were not previously apartments. This would require the existing building to undergo any necessary changes to comply with the current building code for all of the proposed space. This includes Accessibility guidelines, egress, stairs and circulation, fire ratings between uses, etc.. In many cases, it can require some significant changes to the building while in others, the building may have already been designed for these requirements. It just depends on what you have to start with. The areas you describe are relatively small, so the requirements may be easier to meet. Do you have existing plans of the building? An existing building assessment would be the first place to start in determining what you would need to do to take the next steps. Just let us know if you would like us to help you with that. Thanks!

  99. Thank you for your quick response. The building is existing and is already zoned for mixed use which is what we wanted. The bottom floor will be used for office space while the additional 2 floors will be converted to apartments. Floors 2 and 3 are about 1100 sq ft while the 1st floor is about 900 usable sq ft.

  100. Aretha,
    Thanks for your question. If this is an existing building that you are looking at, then none of these numbers in this chart are going to be appropriate for your project as they are new construction numbers.

    It sounds as if you are looking at doing a mixed-use project. The very first thing that you would need to do is confirm with the local planning and zoning department that your proposed uses are allowed. If they are not, then you would have to go through a rezoning process and the renovation would also require a change of use for the building. Chances are good that the building did not originally have both uses anyway, so you will likely have to go through a change of use in any event. This means taking every aspect of the existing building and bringing it up to code for the proposed uses – there is no “grandfather clause” in the IBC for buildings in a change of use. Only once we understand the impact of all of those parameters can we realistically start to outline preliminary budget expectations.

    So, as you might imagine, these projects can get complicated very quickly. However, they are doable and we have done a number of change of use projects in the past. We would be happy to help you through this process if you would like. Just let us know and we can contact you separately and initiate a simple letter of engagement to help you with this project. Thanks!

  101. Hello Dean,
    I am seeking to purchase a mixed use space in Atlanta. The property is a shell and my business partner and I would like to keep the bottom floor for commercial use but would like to develop apartments on the second and third floors. What are the steps we need to take to make this happen? I know after the purchase there is a need to design the space and attain permits for the reno. Do you know what the price per square foot is in Atlanta. I read above where you stated the prices are about the same as they were in the information you provided from 2009 but you also stated you were going to do a bit more research to see if those prices changed at all. Please advise.

  102. JJF,
    Thanks for your inquiry. For what you’ve described, in your area, I would plan for an initial budget of somewhere between $90 and $120 per square foot, depending of course on your level of amenity and finish (mainly for the lobby and office space, assuming the actual pet day care area is largely warehouse finishes). Then, once you have a workable plan, that can be tightened up. EVstudio designs projects all over the country, so just let us know if you need any help taking the next steps. Thanks and best of luck with your project!

  103. Hello Dean,
    Great site, very informative. I’m considering a pet daycare project which would require approx 5,000 sq/ft, say 50 x 100
    I’m thinking a steel warehouse/industrial type building with about 1000 sq/ft of lobby and office space. Any idea what my construction costs would be? im in CT so insulation and a roof that handle the the snow load would be required. thanks, JJF

  104. Peter,
    We have designed breweries in other markets like Denver, and based on the index pricing, I would start with a ballpark expectation of $80-$100 per square foot for your location on Cape Cod. This would be for a minimal level of finish and of course would not include any FF&E costs. Let us know if you are in need of any assistance in the design or engineering of your project and we would be happy to help. Thanks!

  105. Dean,

    I am trying to price out what it would cost to do a 100×50 building with 20 foot celling on Cape Cod. The space would be used for a brewery – so basically we just need a big wide open space for the equipment and the basic plumbing, electrical hook-ups for the brew system. The interior would be finished with just the basics to pass code and with surfaces that can easily be cleaned. We were hoping to do a shingled facade to give it a nicer exterior.

    Not sure if you can help with this this!


  106. Marc,
    That’s a tricky one because of the change in use. Assuming that mixed use with residential is allowed by the local zoning code, the new use could require a great number of changes to the existing building from fire rated assemblies to accessibility requirements and possibly even type of building construction. We have done quite a bit of adaptive re-use for older buildings as well as changes of occupancy. They can be complicated, but they are doable if the conditions allow. The first step would be a thorough assessment of the existing building along with a zoning study. Once all of the factors involved are fully understood, then you can put construction numbers to the project based on what would be required. This is a service that we provide, so if you would like to pursue those steps, let us know and we would he happy to help.

  107. Not sure if anyone can answer this question but I have a friend that owns a office building two stories in downtown Detroit he only uses the bottom half of it and the upper half which is all empty no walls approximately 4000 sf he wants to put apartments up there maybe four or five do you know the approximate cost from framing walls to finish thanks for the help in advance

  108. Glen,
    Thanks for your question. For a core and shell building in the Chicago area, I would budget approximately $80-$95/sq.ft., so you would be looking at the mid $3M ballpark. I’m assuming the shell does have basic MEP systems and does not require any unusually large spans for the structural grid. Also, I’m assuming an empty building, so your racking systems, or anything else in the building would be a separate FFE cost. We’ve done quite a bit of warehouse and storage work and would be happy to help with your project if you are in need of a design team – Just let us know. I hope that helps – good luck!

  109. Ed,
    Thanks for your comment. You are correct – the data set in this post is from 2009, and based on the previous years’ numbers. Interestingly though, we are finding that the construction cost data from that timeframe is surprisingly consistent with today’s numbers. The reason being is that the shakeup in the construction industry due to the recession caused both falling, then rising trends. Across the board, in many industries, by 2013, we caught back up to about the same point as we were before the crash and have stabilized since then. I intend to research last year’s data in more detail in order to update the post, but in the meantime, the numbers are still holding reasonably valid.

    So, with that said, the 5,000 sq.ft. building, assuming it is an office use (different uses have widely different construction costs), would be just around $900k for the building in your location. I’m unclear what you mean by the 2,000 sq.ft. of parking – is this just surface parking or is there a structure there? For surface parking, the site improvements will depend on a variety of factors from required curb and gutter, drainage facilities, landscaping and surfacing. For the purposes of a raw ballpark, assuming the grading and excavation is already complete, you might start with about $15/sq.ft., or around $30k for your parking lot. That would, of course, need to be validated against a real plan that meets all of the city’s regulations. At that point, a line item budget would be more appropriate.

    EVstudio does have a California affiliate and we would be happy to discuss your project with you if you are in need of a licensed architectural design team to get you the necessary construction documents for permitting and construction. After programming, we would also be able to tighten the entire budget up as well. Just let us know and we are happy to help.

  110. Hi Dean, great site I am trying to help out an old timer to figure out what an enclosed dry rack storage building shell 100×400 would run 50 miles outside of Chicago I’m on the other side of the country and have no idea

  111. Dean,

    It appears that your article was written in 2009 and that is what your construction numbers are based on. Am I correct
    In thinking that? If yes, what would be the current cost of construction on a per sq. ft. Bases for the above described buildings in the Los Angeles area ?

    I would like to build a new single story 5,000 sq ft commercial building on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, CA. That 5,000 feet does not include the 2,000 sq ft parking lot directly behind the building. What would be the approximate additional cost of that 2000 foot parking area ?

    Thanks much for your all your help


  112. Thanks JR for your question,

    While the RSMeans data doesn’t conveniently package remodel data (likely because of so many unknowns), there are some rules of thumb. The big questions are what is the desired outcome of the remodeled space and what is the condition of the existing space? Are HVAC and electrical systems in good shape or do they need replacement? How is the exterior skin of the building, windows and doors? Is the core building structure and floors in good shape? Assuming you’re working with a good core and shell building and simply doing TI for the space, and it’s simply a renovation of a supermarket (no change of use or occupancy), then you’re really only looking at finish costs, which, for a large open space like that, assuming you’re not going boutique, may only be $15-$25 per square foot.

    Often times, these older buildings are being re-purposed for a new use. For example, we recently renovated a supermarket to become office space. In that scenario, the costs go up due to level and quantity of finishes and the need for interior walls and MEP systems. In that case, the cost was closer to $40-$60 per square foot. And if the building itself has structural or MEP issues, you could easily wind up approaching a new construction cost per square foot of $100 or more.

    I hope that helps. EVstudio has a depth of expertise in renovations of larger commercial space and retail tenant finish. We would be happy to discuss your project with you in more detail. Just let me know and I can reach out to you separately by email. Thanks!

  113. Hello Dean,
    Any thoughts on a cost per square foot to REMODEL an existing 10,000 sq ft supermarket in northern NJ? I am at the initial stages and am looking for a general range.

  114. Yes near Los Angeles thank you Brian. And thank you Dean you have been a big help!! My project is on it’s way!

  115. Ah – thanks Brian, I can see that is definitely a possibility. Two possible Ontario, CA locations. In that case, I’d use the numbers for LA and budget a minimum of $152/Sq.Ft.. Hope that helps!

  116. Thanks Tailer,
    While we don’t have RSMeans data for Canada, it is reasonable to infer from nearby US cities that an initial budget projection could be between $150 and $170 per square foot. That would apply to your 11,000 Sq.Ft. of finished space but would not include Land costs, Finance or Soft costs, or furnishings fixtures and equipment for operations. I hope that helps – best of luck with your project!

  117. Tailer,
    In order to assist you, I would need to know where your project is located. Project location has a huge effect on cost per square foot of construction due to variations in labor markets and availability of materials.

  118. Hello Dean,

    I am doing a school management project and i’m interested in a rough estimation of the cost of building a day care and development center approximately 11,000 square feet, that includes 10 bathrooms and all the components of a child care center(kitchen, laundry room, etc.). If you could please help me out it would be greatly appreciated.


  119. Ann,
    For an initial conceptual budget, I’d say you are right on target. At least until you have a developed Schematic Design that you can begin a line item budget. We have an expert Multifamily design team that is trained to capture the most value in every square foot and we would love to discuss your project with you. Just let us know if you would like us to help you take the next steps.

  120. I am interested in building 6 condos in downtown Orlando
    2000 sq ft each. Spanish exterior look. With Granit in the kitchens.
    Each condo would have 2 baths. 2 story buildings. 2 car garages.
    I am looking for the sq ft price for the development.
    I would need to pay impact fees also. I have figured about $150.00 per sq ft
    Am I close.

  121. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for reaching out. We are very familiar with that area and project type. Before we can throw out a number for construction cost, there are a number of questions that we have. I will have the Principal of our Texas operations, Gene Dane, contact you directly today and he can arrange to meet and help you take the next steps on your project. Thanks!

  122. Hi,
    I own a commercial lot 80′ frontage x 230′ deep in a fast developing area north of The Woodlands in Texas. I would like to know what is my cost to build a small 5000 sqf shopping center with about 4 rental spaces facing the road and with an economical budget. My hopes is to be able to attract tenants who are in need of smaller space. If you could give general feedback and have someone that can meet with us locally to go over things. Many Thanks.

  123. Alex,
    Depending on the nature of the finishes of the establishment you’re looking to build, you will likely be looking in the $190-$230 per square foot range for a finished new construction project from the ground up. This assumes a fully functioning commercial kitchen, but would not include trade fixtures, furnishings or equipment. I hope that helps – best of luck!

  124. Hello, I am doing a report for a college class and i was wondering if you could give me a rough estimate of what it would cost to build a bar near or around Kutztown, PA. While i am very unsure about the suggested size of the new construction, if you could help me with the price/sq. foot i can do the rest of the math myself. Thank you very much!

    P.S. I’m debating between 1,200 sq. feet, 1,800 sq. feet, and 2,200 sq. feet.

  125. John,
    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, we don’t have that specific project in our RSMeans database. However, you could look at it as a core and shell block building with basic systems, similar to a warehouse or auto shop (which would be around $70-$90/sq.ft.), and then add to that the cost of your specific equipment that you need in the tunnel. That equipment is the piece that is missing from the data, but you should be able to easily source that from your suppliers. Best of luck with your project!

  126. Hi. I am looking to build a car wash. I would like an estimate for the tunnel which would be approximately 800 sq ft as well as a small store which would be 200 sq ft. I am located in Kissimmee, FL.

  127. Nicole, first question: Where are you located? Cost of construction varies considerably across the country. Second question: Does your zoning allow commercial bakery in your home? That would be highly unusual for most jurisdictions. Finally are you asking about the cost of your total home or just the kitchen? If the space is accommodated for the kitchen and included in the cost of the home separately, then the additional cost of the commercial kitchen will simply be a matter of the cost breakdown of each piece of equipment and the appropriate fixtures.

  128. Hi Dean,

    We are considering building our first home. I am in the process of get licensed as a baker and will be renting space in a commercial kitchen locally. When we build our home, I’d like to add a commercial kitchen permitted at a commercial bakery. I’m thinking 500sq of space. Would you have an idea of what that would cost to build? Thanks!

  129. Don,
    There are of course a lot of factors that would influence your total construction costs. However, if you start with a ballpark budget of approximately $100 per square foot, that should give you a reasonable median target to build from. We have designed projects similar to this and would be happy to discuss your project with you in more detail. Just let us know how we can help. Thanks and best of luck with your project!

  130. We’re currently in early stage planning for a dog day care, training and boarding facility in Lexington, KY with 6,000 sq ft of arena or gym type space and 2500 sq feet of boarding, office and retail space. Any idea how much we can expect construction costs to be?

  131. Jason,
    Thanks for your question. Obviously, there would be a number of factors that would influence the construction cost for a warehouse of that size, however, for general front end budgeting purposes, your $75/sq.ft. number is very close to what we have seen in the industry for metal building warehouse space on reasonably level sites with mechanical and electrical systems to meet the basic code requirements. Configuration and minimum clear span play a large role in structural costs, as does construction type (block or steel frame). Also, if there is any finished space for offices, which is not atypical, that would be a separate breakout cost. EVstudio designs projects all over the country and we would be happy to discuss the design needs for your project – just let us know and we can plan an initial programming meeting free of charge. Thanks again and best of luck with your project!

  132. Hello –
    I’m looking at getting very general pricing per square foot for a 200,000 sq. ft. warehouse located near the WI / IL border. From some internet browsing I’ve seen anywhere from $20-$75 and since those numbers aren’t exactly close I figured I’d ask here directly. Doesn’t matter which state, probably the cheaper of the two, and located near Lake Michigan (although not on the lake, just that area. Think between Kenosha in WI and Waukegan in IL (internet map to help see location

  133. Emmett, Thanks for your question. I am assuming you are looking at core and shell construction numbers (with tenant finish being a separate cost), which sounds about right. On average, across all building types, New Your City runs 22% higher than LA for construction costs by the square foot. If you are in the suburbs, there would be a discounting effect for that, maybe as much as half of that delta by percentage. So, with that said, you might be able to reasonably budget in the neighborhood of $100-$105 per square foot for core and shell retail building in your area. That would be a starting point on paper, but of course, there are so many variables that drive construction cost, that a conceptual design or even a schematic design that is far enough along to identify the core cost drivers would be necessary to tighten up that budget and ink in your pro forma. We have done some work in New York in the past and are well versed in retail building types. We would be happy to discuss this project further with you and help you take the next steps if you need – just let us know. Thanks and best of luck!

  134. Hi,

    I am looking to build an office suite business in a retail shopping center in the suburbs of New York, north of Manhattan. I am using some similar projects in Los Angeles as a comparison to see how much they would cost to build per square foot. My research tells me the cost in LA is around $85-90 per foot, not including furniture. How much would I use as an estimate in New York, from 30-100 miles north of the City. I am looking for a rough estimate for comparison. I assume the closer to Manhattan, the more I should expect to pay.


  135. Thanks Stephen, we’re very familiar with the Houston market as our Texas office has worked on several projects in that area. For a tenant finish of a new existing core and shell building, you should budget between $30 and $50 per square foot. Being a bike shop, you will likely be on the lower end of that given the more warehouse like nature of your shop, however things like built in racking, retail lighting and design elements that excite the customer emotional experience to encourage making a buying decision all have to be considered. So if you budget approximately $100k for the finish out, not including your trade fixtures, furniture, etc., that would be a good starting budget to work towards. Best of luck with your project and if you need any design assistance with the architecture and the required mechanical/electrical engineering for permitting, we would be happy to help!

  136. Stephen, we’re happy to help, but can you tell me what city you are located in? A Bike shop in Manhattan has quite a different cost/sq.ft. than say, Des Moines.

  137. Hello,

    I am looking to get an estimate on cost for build-out on a shopping center. we are building a bike shop. the space is brand new. We are looking to build 3010 sq/ft. The location is an end-cap. the bike shop will have 2 badrooms, one fitting room and a storage room. there is going to be a bar to divide the repair area.
    Around how much should we plan to spend per sq/ft ? range

  138. Mohammad,
    Thank you for your inquiry on our website. There isn’t enough information in your request to formulate a proper opinion of probable cost, so I will have the Principal of our Texas office, Gene Dane, contact you directly. Gene is an expert in Commercial design and is currently working on a number of commercial projects in Houston. He can follow up with you directly and gather more information to help you determine costs and take the next steps for your project.

  139. Hi,

    I would like to inquire how much it would cost per square feet to make a commercial plaza? The total sq ft is 135,000 and location is in Texas Houston.

    Land development cost
    Hard construction cost?

    Your comments would be valuable

  140. Thank you for the response, could you please send me the contact information of your Texas office, I would like to speak with them about my project if the coast is around $70 to $100 per SF.

  141. Adam,

    Thanks for your question. Depending on construction type (Pre Engineered Metal Building, Block Building), you would be looking at approximately $70-$100 per square foot for the building along with the required restrooms and some amount of assumed office space. We have an office in Texas and would be happy to discuss this project with you in more detail as we have experts in automotive project types and can design you the most cost effective building to achieve your objectives. Your required program would be a very important factor in understanding how much of the building is core and shell space vs finished space. Also, while FF&E costs are outside of these estimates, your required operating equipment will have a factor in the design and resulting accommodations costs. We will have our Texas Principal, Gene Dane, contact you separately. Thanks!

  142. I want to know the cost of three bay 60X40 (24000 sq FT) auto shop in Dallas TX?

  143. Jim, thanks for your question. I don’t have any data outside of the US or Canada. Perhaps someone from our readership may be able to provide some information on that.

  144. Anyone have any idea what the square footage construction cost for square footage is for a warehouse type facility like a Home Depot or Lowes (in Mexico City)?


  145. Hi Alex,
    thanks for your question! We do have a more specific construction cost study on multifamily apartments that can be found here: This sounds like a mixed use project, and yes, you are on the right track in terms of compartmentalizing the costs by area and use. Multifamily apartments also typically include a certain amount of amenity space (clubhouse, gyp, etc.). As far as you numbers, the multifamily feels a little light for your location in Seattle. I might budget that closer to $180 per square foot. The retail looks about right at $100/sq.ft. for a core and shell. Finished would of course be more, but obviously heavily reliant on the type of space. Structured parking will actually run about double what you’re planning on. While the parking space itself may be about $15k by area, the circulation (drive lanes, etc.) roughly doubles the net area, so we typically use about $30k per parking space in our initial ballpark estimates. Of course, there are countless variables that would inform all of these numbers. If you would like to program your project with a multifamily expert from our multifamily studio to hone in on your project parameters, we would be happy to arrange that. We’ve designed multifamily and mixed use projects all over the country and also in Canada, so our full service Architecture and Engineering team is happy to come to you. Thanks!

  146. Hi George, thanks for your question!
    We do have a more specific construction cost study on recreation centers that can be found here: Depending on the amenities you wish to provide, your cost per square foot can range anywhere from $150-$190 per square foot. For a 130000 square foot building, you would be looking at a $20M-$25M facility. Recreation facilities come in all shapes and sizes with a wide array of amenity offerings, so if you would like to program your project with someone from our Texas office, we would be happy to assist you. We have recreation specialists on our team and we serve all of the major cities in Texas. Thanks!

  147. In the city of Seattle, I’m doing feasibility on an in-fill near acre lot for a mixed-use, 3 story wood frame,with additional underground parking garage (suited to the bowl shaped lot). Looking at 56 units in top two floors, a mix of retail and live/work lofts below on the main floor. and a single floor parking garage underground. Residential units require 1 parking per unit, not sure yet on the retail end.

    I know the cost is huge, but trying to fine tune it to make this go…..Thinking that if I break the building into its 3 components, (MF, Retail, Parking) and different costs/sq ft., that I can arrive at the most accurately numbered guess?

    Is it fair to attribute MF construction costs at $160/sq ft, unfinished Retail spaces at $100/ sq ft., and parking at $15,000 per space? Its not a tall building, just a large footprint on a corner lot, surround by 3 city streets.


  148. Hello. I am in contact with someone who owns land. We are in the Woodlands TX. We are trying to get the best estimate on sq ft cost for a health club. multi floor. about 100,000 sq foot imprint or so, the upper level would only be a 1/4 or 1/3 of that as it would be open and overlooking the level below. Thank You.

  149. Tony,
    For the kind of project you’re looking at, I would plan to budget no less than $100 per square foot for the building construction cost. Assuming tenants will be responsible for their own finish out, and there’s nothing overly complex about the building geometry or exteriors, that would be a good starting point. Best of luck with the project and let us know if you need any help. Thanks!

  150. Hi
    I would like to know the cost of a 7200 sq ft small shopping center brick on the out side. Commercial / Flat Roofing .
    Footing. Brick masonry. Concrete flooring. Utility connections cost ? North of Detroit
    Thanks Tony

  151. Emanuel,

    I can’t help much if I don’t have a location. Any chance you could tell us what city this will be in? As you can see from all of these charts, construction costs are highly sensitive to location. Let me know and we can go from there.

  152. Really early on in the developmental stages of a brand new 10 thousand sq ft grocery store/restaurant with patio with a few retail spaces for rent on a corner lot in boston….the land is already paid for..looking for info on how to get decent estimates on the building….thanks manny

  153. hi dean
    we are interested to open a restaurant . With out knowing too much about this, it really helpful !!! We are planning to turn a retail space into a restaurant wondering the average cost for small restaurant size like 1,000-1,400 sq.ft ( Asian style restaurant ) location in Los Angeles. The retail space already have restroom and electric. We don’t need a big kitchen, prefer 30 seat for customer and small room for office/storage, the cost they also include kitchen equipment or with out kitchen equipment, interior signs furniture.
    thank you Dean
    we’re looking forward to speak to you.

  154. Amy,
    Any chance you could tell us what city this will be in? As you can see from all of these charts, construction costs are highly sensitive to location. Let me know and we can go from there.

  155. Hi
    I have a client that is asking for estimates on a new restaurant and he is looking for a per square foot lighting price. Do you have any type of figures. Its roughly 3000sq ft.

  156. Hi Darryl,
    Thanks for your inquiry. Rich Muller, one of our multifamily experts will be contacting you directly as there are a number of variables on Denver infill lots that we should discus in order to get you a more accurate estimate of construction cost.

    The RSMeans data for multifamily projects suggest a general index of $165 per square foot (see, however, we should validate the broad factors in your project to get closer. We are happy to study the site to determine that the parking, number of floors and number of units will align with your objectives.

  157. Darryl Rounsaville

    I am under contract to purchase a property in downtown Denver. This will be a small apartment complex of 30/31 units. There will be a first floor parking garage (10,000 sqft) with 4 stories of stick frame above at (26000). I would finish the building at a (medium) level. We are looking for a range (per sqft) that I can use at this early point of the project to evaulate the fiesabilty. I presently own 8 apartment buildings in good areas (136 units) in Denver. This will be my first project constructing (I have moved in from the east coast. I am looking for a GC and architect.

  158. Thanks for your question. The answer lies entirely on the zoning allowed by the property you are considering. Assuming apartment use is allowed, the density of units, building height and required setbacks from property lines will all inform the size of lot that would be required for that program. Also, you need to consider any drainage requirements, open space and/or landscaping requirements, access and driveway requirements. A quick review with the authority having jurisdiction would verify all of this for a particular property. Similarly, you can understand from the jurisdiction where the property zoning allows the use and density you are looking for so you can select from among the available properties.

    If you are considering a specific property, feel free to send us the information and we can help you understand what is allowed and what you can do. We do have license in Canada and would be happy to help.


  159. Hi dear,
    we will be looking to built and for storied apartment building with just one floor on each floor for my family and each floor will consist of 3 bedrooms living room and kitchen with at least 2 full bathrooms around 1500 sq. ft living space with main floor car parking and 4 floor on it what size of land at least we required for this and to built this what is approximate cost per sq. ft we should be looking to built in southern Ontario in Canada please let us know

  160. Hi Brad,
    Thank you for your reply. Based on what you’ve described, the RSMeans data would suggest that you would be closer to about $150 per square foot, give or take about 10%. Obviously, major parameters like level of finish, complexity of building and site factors will heavily influence total construction cost, but if you start with a $2M budget, you should be in the right ballpark. The RSMeans data does not include Furnishings, trade fixtures or equipment, so be sure to create a budget specific for those items with regard to your restaurant spaces.

  161. Hello,

    We are looking to build a 3 story structure in Gilbert, Arizona. The building will have approximately 12,800 sq ft (4,600 sq ft on the ground floor, 5,200 sq ft on the 2nd floor and 3,000 sq ft on the rooftop). There will also be a 2 story 800 sq ft unattached garage/storage unit with 400 sq ft on each floor. Total sq ft = 13,600. We will house a restaurant with an outdoor patio, a brewery with an outdoor beer garden and a retail space on the lower floor. An office, a full salon and a yoga space will be on the second floor and a roof top bar or another restaurant with additional office space will be on the third.

    Any estimate on cost per sq ft would be appreciated. Typical buildings in AZ are stucco over steel frames. We may want to have a brick face. Also. will this estimate include the ti’s or will that be a separate price?


  162. John,

    Thanks for your inquiry. We will need a bit more information to be able to speak to the differences between Gym space and Pool space. Do you have a concept plan for the spaces involved or do you need design services at this stage? I am forwarding your question to our recreation design specialist, Matt Svoboda. He will be able to discuss the various aspects of your project along with general cost parameters. We would also be happy to discuss architectural and engineering design services for your project. Thanks!

  163. Jagtar,
    Thank you for your inquiry. All of our labor and material data comes from Reed Construction Data and is specific only to territories in the United States. I do not have international construction cost data, but would be happy to help you with you project. To get the kind of information from a project, you will need a preliminary conceptual design to identify the major cost drivers like type of construction, occupancy, level of finish, etc.. Are you in need of design services for architecture or engineering?

  164. Looking to build a 50,000 sqft Gymnasium and Pool in the Washington D.C. area. What is the cost difference between Gym space and Pool space. Gym 30,000 == Pool space 20,000)

  165. please tell me construction charge for commercial building 45*90 feet 7 floor in mohali with basement
    without material only labor cost for structure

  166. Pingback: The Dangerous Game of Subsidy « Thoughts on the Urban Environment

  167. Todd,

    Thanks for your question. So, it sounds like your core and shell for the building are there and you need to finish out the empty shell. We have actually done quite a few of these kinds of projects around the country and we have a pretty good handle on what they require.

    In your area, construction costs per square foot are among the lowest in the country. A new office building would run between $120 and $130 per square foot, however, you mentioned that the use will be for a police station, which run a good bit higher due to security and detainment programming. In your area, new construction for this use is closer to between $170 and $180 per square foot (see my post on police stations here:

    The good news is that some of your major costs are already built. You describe moderate finishes, and all new Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing. I assume that by going to this new use, you will need new window penetrations and we would also have to look at egress for this new occupancy, which could require additional door penetrations for exiting. Security and detainment requirements could also require new structural requirements, but that would need to be vetted out in programming. Your questions about running electrical put the cart before the horse to some degree until we know what the wall layout becomes and how the exterior walls may need to be furred-in for other reasons. In that scenario, wiring simply runs overhead and down the new walls. But there is new plumbing that will disturb the slab, as well as HVAC runs that will make the electrical look easy by comparison.

    With those additional items, along with an exterior facade, The best approach would be to start with the new construction cost index pricing, and then deduct for the value of the excavation, foundation and metal structure that is already constructed. For an existing 20,000 square foot building, I would expect the initial investment to be somewhere on the order of $1M for this infrastructure. So, to take it to a finished office building, you would need to budget $90-$110 per square foot for the finish-out of a police station. For a building of this size, it could easily be a $2M project.

    Now, these ballpark numbers are for typical conditions, and actual site conditions may vary. The programming for a police station can also vary and would need to be taken into account. The best next step is to get a site survey and an as-built of the existing building so we can program the required functions to create an initial study with some space planning so you can know exactly what will be required. Also, it is highly advisable that you have someone speak with the local planning and zoning group to ensure that your proposed use is allowed on that property. They will likely require new site improvements like parking and landscaping if that is not already in place. The change in occupancy for the building shouldn’t be too difficult, given the fact that everything is new, but we can look at that too.

    EVstudio has architectural and engineering licenses in North Carolina and we would be happy to discuss this project in more detail with you. We can help from initial feasibility and design concepts to engineering and permit drawings and everything in between. If you are just getting started on this process, let me know if you would like to take the next steps and we could put some numbers together for you to work in whatever level of service you need.

    Thanks Todd, and I hope to hear back from you on this project.


  168. Dean, What would you think it would cost per sq ft to take a 20K square foot metal 100 x 300 clear span with 14′ eaves good metal roof and sides and make it into middle of the line office space? would need all new HVAC , all new electrical and new bathrooms. Would like to spuce up the outside with some mountain stone a 3rd of the way up at least on one of the 300 ft sides and build a covered entrance that you could drive under to unload. I know this is a broad question although Im just looking for some rough numbers. It located central North Carolina about 20 miles east of Winston Salem. Do you have any ideas on how to run the electrical on the walls or floor as the are metal on the inside with insulation behind it and the concrete floors are in good shape. Would it be best to pull the metal of the walls? Looking to make a police dept in the building. Thanks

  169. Hi again Jake,

    Generally, those numbers would include anything built-in, including interior finishes. They also include General Contractor’s costs, general conditions for construction, permitting, etc.. However, they would not include furniture (dining tables, chairs, artwork, etc.) and also not removable trade fixtures (like most of your kitchen equipment). Soft costs like design fees tend to be a much smaller component of the overall construction cost that at this ballpark level of budgeting, could be included in that number.

    I hope that helps! Looking forward to speaking with you again when you have found a location and are ready to move forward.


  170. Dean Thank you for your detailed response. I really appreciate it. Just couple of quick follow up questions. Does the average cost that you provided ($250/per sq.ft.) include kitchen equipment, dining room interior designs, furniture, architect and contractor fees, construction permits etc? It will be great to know if some of or all of these items are included in the average number you provided. Btw, when I said a small restaurant, I was referring to size like 1,000 sq.ft. (pizza/Italian casual style restaurant) as you guessed.

    We are still in search of a location in Manhattan, but once we lock to a deal, I will definitely contact you.

  171. Jake,

    Thanks for your inquiry. Based on the index data, a new restaurant in NYC would run in excess of $250 per square foot. The type of restaurant you described could run quite a range of sizes, so we should discuss just how big of a space you would need. Small restaurants could be as small as 1,000 sq.ft., but at that size, it gets difficult to justify a stand-alone building and a tenant finish space would be more appropriate. At the same time, a “small” restaurant could also be described as a 3,000-5,000 sq.ft. stand alone building, which would be appropriate, but obviously much larger and therefore costlier. Also, commercial kitchen costs depend entirely on the equipment that you need for your specific operation. You could easily inventory this equipment in a schedule, and any kitchen equipment dealer could quickly price it for you with new or used equipment. These kinds of projects are often most cost effective by finding an existing space that had the same, or similar use in it. This way, you would capitalize on any of the existing finish out and would not have to incur the costs of a change of occupancy in an existing space with mechanical and electrical retrofit upgrades that would be required, or the cost of a new building in its entirety. Unless, of course, the new building is also intended to be a real estate investment, in which case, you would want to include that thinking into your pro forma and could easily justify that course of action if you have a good location.

    If you need any help with the design of your project, please let me know and we would be happy to look at it with you. Thanks and best of luck!

  172. Tracey,
    Without much more information than that, I’d say you should start at a ballpark budget of $100/sq.ft.. To get any closer on a conceptual number, we should look at the size, design, finishes, mechanical, electrical and plumbing requirements, etc..


  173. Hello I am looking what the cost per square foot would be to replace a masonry block warehouse type building in PA. Aspahlt shingle roof. Thanks

  174. Hi Dean,

    We are currently seeing a restaurant space for our new Venture in Manhattan, NYC. There are more cost effective alternatives if we don’t look for pre-exisiting restaurant space. Therefore It would be great if you could provide me balk park estimates on building a new small restaurant in NYC. I am interested in knowing the average hard cost per sqft of getting this italian/pizza restaurant build from scratch – meaning conversion from a retail store. And in comparison how much savings will we have if we actually took an existing restaurant? Finally if you could provide any insights on the commercial kitchen construction costs per sq ft for this type of Restaurant, I’d really appreciate it.

    Thank you in advance for your help.


  175. Pastor Elton,

    Thank you for your inquiry. I have forwarded your question on to Gene Dane, our Texas studio Principal and he will contact you directly to discuss your questions. Best of luck and I hope that you will be able to find a new home for your congregation that meets all of your needs (budget included).

  176. Hello Dean. I am the Senior Pastor of a ministry in Denton, Texas. Our congregation has outgrown the 3000 sq ft wooden church building we are in currently, however we are not yet financially in a position to build. I am in the process of looking for a store front or possible warehouse that is 7000-8000 sq ft. Looking for 5 offices, 4 classrooms, a Conference, Kitchen area, Nursery and Toddlers Room and 3 half bathes in various areas and a sanctuary that will seat about 150. I know with the warehouse the owners will have to add HVAC and ADA Bathrooms for city code, but my main objective is to get a price of what it will take to build out the ROOMS. (Offices, Conference Room, Nursery, etc….) Trying to plan the best strategy to negotiate finish out by the Owners we will be leasing from. Some places are willing to finish out completely, but some will not do any finish out. Prices are ranging from $4.95-$6.95 sq ft with for just the warehouse. Let me know your thoughts and your advice and wisdom is greatly appreciated!!!


    Pastor Elton

  177. Scott,

    Well, I can’t tell you much about the local real estate market, the local value of land and location, or what the market will bear for any particular project type in your area. However, we can discuss what new construction buildings of that type would cost. In that region, you could expect to pay anywhere between $80 and $110 per square foot for an industrial metal building with a nominal amount of finished square footage finished out for offices and bathrooms, etc.. Finished space would be anywhere from $20-$50 square foot depending on amenities and level of finish.

    Now, whether or not these existing buildings could be compared to new square footage is entirely up to the market, but hopefully, it can at least help to inform the conversation. Interior renovations would run the above $20-$50 square foot and improvements to the site core and shell of the buildings, exteriors, mechanical, electrical and plumbing that may need to be made to bring them up to “new construction” status are all widely variable and would have to be looked at individually.

    Best of luck.


  178. Dean,
    I have commercial property in Greensburg, Kansas that consist of two separate buildings sitting adjacent to one another. The larger building, built in 1963, was an auto body repair shop in operation from 1963 to 2007. The other building has been used for many things since it was built in 1973, most recently an antiques store. I am prepping to list these for sale but I’m not sure what would b an appropriate price per square foot for this area. The first building, which.has been added on to over the years, has for its original support structure tubular steel framing with steel rafters. The areas added on are standard wood construction. The other building is a steel building, insulated, with a concrete floor, one large overhead door and two walk-in doors. The first building,has six overhead doors, two walk-in doors an office space of roughly 300 sq ft. I have the option of selling them simply as commercial property or as an auto body business opportunity. The amount of land with this is roughly one acre. Can you give me any help with a price per sq ft for the buildings?

    Thanks — Scott

  179. From Dan (by e-mail):
    Office Building, Moderate

    Thanks Dan,

    Your figure of $129/square foot actually appears to be low with respect to the average cost for a 2-4 story office building in any region, much less in New Jersey. Based on the RSMeans data, I would budget somewhere between $170 a square foot and $200 a square foot if someone were to ask to build a new construction 2 story, 4,700 square foot office building (see the link: ).

    For an insurance adjuster, there are things that would not actually be lost though in a “total loss”. Like tap fees, underground utilities and other site improvements, for example. These are things that are built into the cost numbers that you would not have to pay additionally. However, I don’t think that they alone would close the gap between $170 and $129.

    I hope that helps. Best of luck!


  180. Dan,

    What kind of building is it – Office, Retail, Warehouse…? Also, how would you describe the level of finish – Luxury, moderate, economy, unfinished? These are things that have a significant effect on how you would go about validating that cost per square foot. Let me know and I’m happy to help.

  181. We just received an $800 per year insurance increase for a building we purchased last year in Burlington, NJ.
    The building is two story, 4,700 sq. ft. we paid under $300K. The insurance company is stating the it will cost $129 sq ft. to rebuild if it was destroyed. ($600K ) How can I confirm that $129. sq. ft. is an accurate rate? thanks and glad I found your blog. Great info!


  182. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your inquiry. There are a number of ways to phase your construction so that build out keeps pace with your needs for growth. However, there are a number of concerns about the final phase being above previous phases, unless you’re thinking that the third floor would simply be unfinished, which would be the only way to do it, but will only save you about $20-$40/sq.ft. for finishes initially. To properly phase the project for growth, and reap the maximum budget savings, it is generally better to look at a smaller footprint that you would build out initially, then add onto horizontally later. This allows you to realize the full cost per square foot of savings of the final phase in the beginning, while also causing minimal disruption to business functions as the phases progress. In fact, we’re looking at doing this very strategy for the Park County government in Fairplay Colorado. Our Central Texas studio in Copperas Cove is not far from you and it may be of value for our principal there, Gene Dane, to discuss the various options with you. So many variables are controlled by site logistics that would inform the overall strategy, and he could quickly assess what you have, what you need and the best approach to get there. I will have Gene contact you separately by e-mail and then you could strategize from there. Thanks!

  183. Dean,
    We are considering building a new public safety facility here in Georgetown. It will house our Police Department administrative offices. We anticipate constructing a building that will serve us for the next 25-30 years.
    Initially, we planned to construct and finish-out a three story structure of about 70,000 s.f.
    We now wonder if it might make sense to stage the construction process and erect the building, build-out two floors and then build-out the third as our needs demand. Do you have any idea if this si sound thinking and if so, what kinds of costs we could anticipate for doing it??
    I’d apreciate any guidance you could provide.

  184. Nick,
    If I am understanding you correctly, it sounds as if you have an existing stripped down single story warehouse and are planning on finishing it out to become a two level office building. It also sounds like you will need to build a structural second floor as well as replace the slab on the first floor. So, at the end of the day, you really have just a foundation, exterior walls and roof to start with. As a result, I think you would be wise to budget around $100/square foot in your region to cover the costs of the necessary structure, MEP improvements to the core and shell, and interior finishing of the entire facility. It could certainly be less than this, but that would be highly dependent on the level of finishes, amount of MEP necessary and any other issues that may creep up in converting a warehouse to an office building. Best of luck, and if you need any help with the design, let me know and we can look at how we can help you. Thanks!

  185. From e-mail: Sorry Location Vero Beach Fl. Figure on no existing mech, elect, or plumbing, we have preliminary plans the footprint is 8000 s/f 36′ high ceiling.

    Thank you Dean

  186. Nick,
    Where is your project located? Is there existing mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing? Do you have any existing or proposed plans?

  187. Approx cost to renovate an existing warehouse exterior is in good shape as is roof,
    inter. needs new conc. floor, refinish walls, second floor with 12 small enclosed rooms all sharing common walls each approx. 16′ x 20′ first floor also with 4 enclosed rooms, rest rooms on both floors, small kitchen.

  188. Bill,
    Thanks for commenting. Are you looking for a proposal on this project? This project type is a specialty of Matt Svoboda, one of our project architects. Let me know and we would be happy to discuss. Thanks!


  189. 90,000 sq ft. Tennis and Athletic facility.
    Land is flat and in a commrecial developement with some already developed lots around it.
    City services are present.
    Janesville, Wisconsin is the location.
    Looking for the least expensive yet most attractive steel or similar type building.
    Must have solar and any possible green technologies incorporated into plan.
    Building will house 8 tennis courts, Mens and Womens locker rooms, fitness center, pro shop, four offices,
    lounge area, maintainence and storage.
    Parking lot and 4 exterior tennis courts.

  190. Dave,
    Thanks for your question. The first thing to determine in trying to estimate a probable cost would be the scope of the project. If simply adding some demising walls and preserving most of the rest of the building in it’s current condition is your program, then you would simply need to look at the unit costs for building specific walls and associated costs (electrical, mechanical changes for the units) and determine just how many walls you are building. On the other hand, if the building is undergoing a total renovation, then you would look at square footage costs for the entire building. Generally, renovating the core and shell of an existing building would run in the ballpark of $40-$60 per square foot., depending of course on the level of finish and assuming no exterior work or hazardous mitigation needs to be considered. We do have engineers licensed in Vermont, and would be happy to help you with your project if you are seeking a design team. Let me know and we can get some more information on your building and go from there. Thanks!

  191. Hi Dean

    How would one determine a square foot renovation fit-up cost for an existing office building in Vermont? We have an under utilized large office building that is in great shape and have been trying to determine a budgetary cost to put up demising wall for a tenant or tenants with some light other light construction/modification.

    Thanks – Dave

  192. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for contacting EVstudio! Combining office and residential space is a very popular and cost effective approach provided your local zoning allows. It is my understanding from one of our project architects from Houston, that there is no zoning code in Houston, and therefore, you would have the ability to build out a mixed use building like this. In Houston, the cost of construction for office space is in the low $140’s while the cost for residential second story is in the low $150s.

    So to ballpark your project, the blend of the two would land you right around $150/square foot, depending of course on level of finish. For a smaller building like this, $150 may be a high starting point because you won’t be subject to some of the code requirements of larger commercial projects, but for the sake of being conservative, I would advise to start high, then qualify as you go. So, for a 4,000 sq.ft. building, your project should have an initial budget of $600k. From that point, you can program the project in more detail and put together an initial schematic design that would then serve to further inform that budget. Then, continue to refine until all of your design needs are met in the context of what you would like to spend on the project.

    We do have an office in Central Texas and would love to speak with you more about your project. We can provide a full scope of services from architecture through engineering and get you where you need to go from initial conceptual design and feasibility studies to permit plans. Let me know if you would like to arrange a call or a meeting with our Texas principal and we can go from there. Thanks Mark, we hope to talk to you soon!


  193. Hi Dean,

    I am interested in a land in south west of Houston. It is about 1.5 arce. I am planning to build a two story building first floor will be my office which will be about 2000sf and the second floor will be 2000 sf house that I can live in. the rest of area will be parking lot. How much per sf in this case would be? Thank you very much for your input.


  194. Hi Jeffrey,

    Thanks for your inquiry. I would expect warehouse/office space in Dallas to be in the ballpark of $100 per square foot, depending on finishes of the office space of course. We do have a studio located in central Texas, and have architectural and engineering licensure in Texas if you would like to discuss putting together your design team. Let me know and we can arrange a conference call. Thanks!


  195. Hello Dean, please assist me on this if you can. We have a very small lot, 66 x 99, in a warehouse district. We would like to build a simple two story cmu building for storage and a few offices. Our area is Dallas. Can you provide me a construction cost range for this tyoe of building. We could consider metal, or a combination of the two

  196. Hi Cherie,

    Thank you for your inquiry. We’ve done a number of church projects in various locations in the country, and while the costs are largely driven by the construction type and level of finish, you could reasonably expect a range of construction costs as follows:

    New construction: $140/sq.ft.-$180/sq.ft.
    Renovation: $40/sq.ft.-$80/sq.ft. (so heavily dependent on if the renovation is just a paint and paper project, or if it requires changes to structure, HVAC, electrical, etc.)
    GC fees: These are really all over the place right now. I have recently seen it as low as 7% from very desperate contractors while others are still holding 15%-18% and a small group over 20%, however these are more specialty contractors. Of course, there are many ways that contracts are set up, and much of the general conditions costs are handled outside of the fee structures as well. Assessing the net GC fee from that can be a real labyrinth.

    If you are in need of architectural or engineering design services for this project, please let us know. We have worked on projects across the country and would be interested in discussing how we may be able to offer a full scope of design services for you. Thanks!


  197. Hi Dean Dalvit,

    I hope your day is off to a good start. I have obtained a church renovation and new construction Build /Designed tentative contract is for $350,000 location DeKalb County Georgia. I have a couple of questions for you if you know the answer to the following:

    1. Price range per square foot on commercial new construction?

    2. Price range per square foot on commercial renovation?

    3. Overhead markup percent range relative to our current market?

    I look for to hearing from you and Thank you for your help in advance.


    Cherie Fairfax, GC

  198. Hi Randy,

    Thank you for your question. In general, metal buildings will be less expensive than concrete, however, there are trade-offs that you should consider in terms of the look and feel of the building. If the store can still be successful looking like it might belong in a warehouse district, then those concerns are less of an issue, and costs are lower. If, however, this is to be a boutique consignment shop in a retail zone, you could spend significantly more on the metal building to dress it up to meet that need. I didn’t get a good read on the building size from your comment, but assuming you were talking about 8,000-10,000 square feet, you would be looking at about $100/sq.ft. in your region. This figure depends heavily on interior and exterior finishes, of course. We are licensed architects and engineers in North Carolina, and would be happy to discuss this in more detail with you. Let us know if you are in need of a design team and we could put a design and engineering proposal together for you for your project. Thanks!


  199. Thinking of building on a lot for a commercial consignment shop. I want a 8 to 10sq ft building. What would be the cheapest way to go? Metal or concrete building? Is there a way or program that could tell me what I would be looking at for a total package deal? I’m in Wilmington, NC

  200. Quiana,

    Thank you for your question. Building out a warehouse space for indoor play facilities / party spaces can be quite affordable, depending on the level of finish that you are looking for. The restroom and HVAC requirements will likely be the biggest expenditure – especially if existing utility stubs are not present. For existing space, I would estimate that the party rooms can be built out at a cost of $20-$40/square feet (again, very dependent on level of finish). The bathrooms are likely going to run closer to $30-$60/ sq.ft. and the remaining warehouse space as little as $5-10/sq.ft., again depending on finishes and FF&E for your operations. Assuming a facility along the lines of a Jumpstreet or Extreme Challenge type of operation (like we have in Colorado), I would expect construction costs to come in anywhere between $55,000-$110,000. I can’t stress enough though that these numbers are ignorant of the level of finishes that you anticipate and are for a pretty low level of finish, typical of warehouse play facilities. If there are no utilities to the space, the cost of getting them in would be additive. A lot can be spent on lighting as well, if typical warehouse lighting is not sufficient. HVAC and egress requirements for the change in occupancy, among any other requirements for the change in occupancy that may be required, like ADA accessible ramps, exiting, etc. may require changes to the core and shell building. These would also carry their own costs and may be negotiated with the landlord. Regardless, they should be contemplated because warehouses are rarely designed for an assembly occupant load and often require some bigger picture changes (that could even affect the parking lot).

    Hopefully that helps though to outline some general parameters. To get much closer, you would need a real as-built plan of the existing building, and at least a schematic plan for proposed work that a local contractor could develop a line item budget from. Best of luck!


  201. Maybe you can help me as much as you have helped the others. I am looking at building out three room to host private parties in an indoor play facility. The building is located in the Tampabay Florida area. The total space is 7000square feet, and we are being told we need at least 3 bathroom stalls per gender and our total occupancy cannot exceed 300. I’m guessing the three pary rooms should not exceed 1000 square feet total? Do you know what construction costs for our buildout might run us? WE will be occupying an old warehouse space and will need HVAC as well.

    Any help you give would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  202. Steve,

    Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, your question sounds like it has more to do with real estate values in your area than design or construction advice may be able to inform. In general, higher density results in greater property values, and if your local jurisdiction allows for it, which I assume it does if the neighbors have done it, then it could make a sound investment. Construction costs to go vertical with residential space in that part of the country can easily push $200/square foot. This obviously depends heavily on the level of finish as well as any constraints with the lot or existing building that could drive costs. EVstudio does projects in many states across the country, so if you are in need of architectural or engineering services, we would be happy to discuss the project in more detail with you. Best of luck!


  203. Hi Chuck,

    Without knowing too much about the design itself, or the details of the existing structure, I am assuming that contractor is expecting to get into some difficult situations with those numbers. We’ve done dentist offices before, and while there is a premium cost of construction for the type of construction necessary, $177/sq.ft. is too high to not include interior finishes. Every building can be an onion peel, and an 1880’s house is more likely to have code issues for your use and occupancy. Be that as it may, while there will always be some padding in a contractor’s budget for unknowns, he should be pricing based on the plans, not on his assumptions. Exclusions can be written into his proposal for unknowns. The number you mentioned might be appropriate for total costs, including finishes, but seems really high to me for core and shell (empty box) construction. I would push for more detail in his estimate in order to validate his numbers. Best of luck.


  204. I inherited a single family row house in Flushing. The house is sandwiched in between a 3 family and a 6 family, that were originally like mine, but have been built up. I have the house gutted out now and am wondering if it would be wiser to convert it to a multi-family like the ones on either side. I believe the house measures 30 feet by 40 feet. Would it be better to convert or just rehab it as a single family? What would be the estimates for conversion to a multi-family in Flushing, NY?

  205. Hello I have a renovated Farmhouse in a suburban area of Indianapolis Indiana. The house dates to the 1880’s and I renovated it for a dental office in 1997-1998, and have been practicing there since. I am interested in doing some remodeling/renovation, cosmetic updates ie. expanding the reception room onto the porch (very little outdoor work) My question is this: a bid came in at 43,000.00 just for the “construction” no interior finishings. That’s about 177.per sq. ft. Seems high. What do you think. Thanks

    Chuck Sukurs DDS

  206. Maxine,

    Thank you for your question. A simple medical build out in that area would be on the order of $40-$80 per square foot, depending on the existing conditions of the space and what you have to start with. An existing office building (particular medical office) may already be planned for interior spaces and all you have to do is update finishes while others may require a complete gutting. The former might be as low as $20 per square foot or even less while the latter could push that $80 barrier. Also, the level of finish and the cost of any specialty space (MRI, CAT scan rooms, etc.) will really drive the costs. Again though, if this is project is a typical medical office space with professional looking finishes, no specialty equipment or med gasses, I’d say you would be safe to consider a conceptual budget to be between $250,000 and $350,000 if you are starting from scratch. Incidentally, I have written a post about new construction medical office buildings you may find interesting:

    I hope that helps. If you would like to discuss this project in more detail, we would be happy to help.


  207. Dean, we have a commercial client who wants to do a medical “build-out” in Fredericksburg, VA. It is approximately 5,000 sq. ft. on the 3rd floor of an existing building attached to the hospital. Can you tell me in our area, what is the going rate per sq. ft. for “build-out” in the medical industry. It is an OB-Gyn women’s center. Thanks, and I have enjoyed reading your responses.

  208. Hi Sara,

    Thank you for your reply. Before I could reply with some meaningful information for you, I would need to know your location as well as a bit more about the building you are looking at as well as the kind of restaurant you are looking to build. A bakery has a different kitchen than a sports grill and a single story mixed use building is easier to retrofit a hood and exhaust for a commercial cooktop and fryer than a multistory building. And all costs will vary with location based on local availability of labor and materials. Let me know and hopefully we will be able to help you.


  209. Hi,
    this has been really helpful! It being the weekend and unable to call around for quotes, this has been exactly what i’ve been needing to see. Wondering if you would know , of course this is hypothetical, ball park costs, but planning to turn a retail space into restaurant and wondering what a 150-200 sq commercial kitchen construction costs would look like per sq ft

  210. >>
    Mr. Dalvit: Thank you for responding so quickly. We are in the very early stages of pricing a facility. The building we are interested in would be a three story office building, right about 30,000 feet, in a commercial area of Hollywood, FL. The building would be multiuse, occupied by a variety of tenants (insurance, doctors, therapy, etc.) – regular offices and a restaurant on the first floor.

    Thanks Carl,

    While cost per square foot varies by both region as well as local economies, I would expect multi-story office space in your area to be in the range of $150-$180/square feet, depending on many factors, from design configuration and level of finish to site requirements and availability of local labor. Concrete block warehouse-type office space on an open lot will be considerably less expensive, while specialty construction with tight site constraints could be more. In your location, and with the kind of mixed-use building that you described, a good place to start would be in the ballpark of $170/square foot. With that said, you would be looking at a project that is right around $5M

    RSMeans provides the general index for construction costs to be used in developing a starting point for a project budget. However, the actual design will drive actual costs and the budget should be validated at all benchmarks throughout the design process. A line item budget should be developed as soon as schematic architectural drawings are developed.

    If you would like to discuss the project in more detail, we can provide full scope architectural and engineering design services, and would be happy to help at any level from schematic design to permitting and contract administration.

    I hope that helps and let me know if there is anything else we can help you with.


  211. >>

    Thanks Niel,

    While cost per square foot varies by both region as well as local economies, I would expect multi-story medical office space in your area to be in the range of $220-$250/square feet, depending on many factors, from design configuration and level of finish to site requirements and availability of local labor. simple medical office space on an open lot will be considerably less expensive, while specialty construction with tight site constraints could be more. In your location, and with the kind of new building that you described, a good place to start would be in the ballpark of $240/square foot. With that said, you would be looking at a project that is around $2.5M

    For renovation, the cost is very much tied to what is currently there, what can be salvaged and what will be new. If you were starting with a core and shell space (demo costs to strip it down to that point would have to be considered), a medical office building tenant finish-out would cost anywhere from $60/sq.ft. to $100/sq.ft.. Again, many factors to consider here, not the least of which would be the kinds of amenities needed in the facility. Are these simple treatment rooms, or are there surgical rooms, med gas requirements, other technologies that affect the cost of the building? Assuming a typical professional office building, the renovation could run upwards of around $900k.

    RSMeans provides the general index for construction costs to be used in developing a starting point for a project budget. However, the actual design will drive actual costs and the budget should be validated at all benchmarks throughout the design process. A line item budget should be developed as soon as schematic architectural drawings are developed.
    If you would like to discuss the project in more detail, we can provide full scope architectural and engineering design services, and would be happy to help at any level from schematic design to permitting and contract administration.

    I hope that helps and let me know if there is anything else we can help you with.

  212. Hi Niel,

    Happy to help out. First, a very important question: Where is the location? Regional variations in construction costs can be staggering. If you could let me know a bit more about site location, that would help inform the discussion. Look forward to hearing form you.


  213. Dean,

    Appreciate your input.

    Am a physician looking at 2 prospects.

    1. A 11300 sq foot 1 floor building with appropriate parking plus a large municipal lot across the street that needs renovation…we would need about 6K and would rent the rest. Building has good street visualization

    2) A .6 acre area to build a 10-12K building, parking on the ground, with building on levels 2 and 3. Buidling is next to another medical building.

    Trying to guesstimate…

    Price per foot to renovate vs. build from scratch…

    Other factors….time, stress etc….

    anything would be appreciated.

  214. Carl,

    Thank you for your comment. A couple of questions for you first – what will the use of the building be – office, retail, medical, etc.? Each use has its own parameters for construction cost. Then, what level of finish would you be looking for – High-end luxury or sparse urban studio? If you could share your thoughts on that, we could certainly help arrive at a good starting point. At that point, we would be happy to discuss the project in more detail and see how we may be able to assist you with your programming and design needs. EVstudio is licensed in multiple states, and we regularly do projects across the country. We can provide architectural and engineering services for a wide variety of projects and locations. Thanks again and I look forward to hearing from you.


  215. Just curious about the cost per square foot for new construction of a commercial building in Hollywood, FL, looking at approximately 26,000 sf, three floors. Thank you, Carl Snyder, Native Learning Center, Hollywood, FL

  216. Denise,
    Thanks for your question. I would generally consider between $50-$70 per square foot to take a core and shell space to a restaurant finish. This is obviously highly dependant on the level of finish that you are considering. Converting tenant space may sometimes involve costlier structural or mechanical improvements to the building, so that should be considered as well. If you are in need of design or engineering help, we would be happy to discuss the program further with you. We have a fully integrated design team that holds licenses in many states across the country. Thanks!

  217. Ed,

    Thanks for your question. I would generally consider between $40-$60 per square foot for the upscale finishes that you are describing. Obviously, opening up the space may involve costlier structural improvements to the building, so that should be considered as well. If you are in need of design or engineering help, we would be happy to discuss the program further with you. We have a fully integrated design team that holds licenses in many states across the country. Thanks!

  218. Hello Dean. I work at a marketing firm and we’re advising a client to repurpose some 2000 sq.ft. of their office space into a showroom of their products in Detroit, MI, so we’re trying to figure out a ballpark cost per sq. ft. for this remodel given the fact that the building space is already there. The renovation work will basically be to turn this office space into a high end car dealership type showroom (with similar finishes, materials and furniture).

    We’d be looking into high quality flooring, exhibition furniture, wall treatments, graphic elements, some walls will be moved or torn down, a kitchen will be relocated, celling treatments, showroom lighting, etc… We’re still in the concept phase and everything would be properly quoted once it is designed and decided, but any insight on a ballpark figure would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Ed.

  219. Denise Teixeira

    Hi Dean. I’ve been asked to give an estimate on remodelling the interior of a commercial building. Presently, it’s gutted. No walls, ceiling, etc. The remodel will convert this space to a small restaurant. A handicap access bathroom needs to be added, drop ceilings, drywall, and a redo of the plumbing to make it flush with the ceiling. The flooring and HVAC system will be performed by someone else. Is there a “general, ball park” dollar figure for this type of work? The work will be performed outside Portland, Oregon.

    Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  220. Hi Dwayne, 

    Well, it can be a difficult decision to build in an economy where there is vacancy. However, the most important reasons to construct in any economy have more to do with the functions, location and design of a new building, and why such elements may serve the business community in ways that the current building inventory may not. And of course, many buildings are single tenant buildings custom built to suit, so finding an existing building to meet their specifications just simply isn’t going to happen.

    For example, we have a similar situation around our Denver studio where the existing building inventory is in less desirable locations or are buildings that do not offer the kinds of amenities that tenants are looking for. Similarly, our studio in the central Texas market is surrounded by old and dated office buildings, so new construction gets filled quickly while older buildings remain vacant.

    So, while there is vacancy, the bottom line is that good buildings stay filled. The situation your location may easily justify new construction. But it would certainly be wise to consider renovating an existing building as the construction costs (and in many cases, the entitlement costs) can be much more attractive. An older, clean (no hazmat) building in a good location can be renovated for substantially less than what new construction would otherwise cost. To get much more detailed than that would require some market studies and programming to really get a good handle on what you are looking to do.

    We would be happy to discuss your project in more depth if you would like. We have a significant amount of experience with office building project types, both new construction, as well as renovations. EVstudio provides architecture and engineering services across the country, and holds licenses in most states in the Western region. Let me know if you would like to arrange a consultation for your project and we would be happy to accommodate.

  221. Hi Dean, I would like your opinion on what may be a recommendation. In Las Vegas we are looking to build a office building about 25,000sf. The issues is that with so mant vacancies , the question arises why are we building when there is so many properties on the market that we can buy. Or the other question is that , because of the economy why can we just retrofit an existing building. Could you give me some advantages and disadvantages. Thanks

  222. Hi Cliff,

    Thank you for your inquiry. The mixed use environment is becoming a very popular solution around the country. There are a number of reasons for this. One is that it creates an instant walkable community, which is very desired. Also, it balances the right mix of residents and business to be nearly self sustaining, so the businesses are far more attracted to leasing the space. The big indoor mall still has its place, but we’re seeing a lot of change in that sector.

    Cost per square foot for core and shell retail space is pretty close to $100/square foot in the outdoor mall market model. Chain retail tenants will finish their own space to their specifications, regardless of you go indoor or outdoor mall. Indoor mall costs are far more sensitive to the amenities provided (like roller coasters in the Mall of America vs. simple gathering spaces in smaller facilities). Site amenities can also vary wildly from parking lots to complete outdoor parks on site. It would take some programming and planning to really flesh out the kind of space that you are looking to develop so more accurate pricing could be determined.

    The rule of thumb for structured parking is that if the land cost exceeds the cost for structured parking, then you stack the site. If, however, the land cost is less, or like it is in most cases, considerably less than the cost of structured parking, then there is no economic benefit to going that route. It does, however, provide a more pleasant experience for the shopper, if that can be quantified.

    Sustainable features are very important these days, but quantifying them in a cost per square foot measure doesn’t make much sense. Instead, it would be better to identify specific systems and evaluate their costs on an individual basis. For example, a 10kW photovoltaic system may be a $30,000 system, but energy rebates and life cycle costs would tell the whole story for their actual cost. The same holds true for geothermal systems, wind turbines, green roofs, etc… None of these systems would provide 100% of your energy needs, so tying them to a square footage would be inappropriate.

    We happen to be licensed as architects and engineers in Tennessee, and would be happy to discuss this project further with you and take it into programming if you are at that point in the discovery process. Let me know if that is something you are interested in and we can make the appropriate arrangements. Thanks Cliff, and we hope to work with you on this project.


  223. Hello Dean,

    I am working on a mall development of 17 acres in Nashville, TN. I would like your opinion on cost and several ideas I have for design.

    I’m considering the differences in an enclosed mall with all the stores under one roof and the open air courtyard style design. I’m also interested in knowing if designing the retail structure on top of a parking structure in suburbia, not downtown, would be of any benefit. This type of design is not common in this area but I have seen it in places like Hoover, Alabama and it seems to be working out nicely.

    Also, I have seen several of your posts that mention wind and solar options. I would like to use those as much as possible wherever possible if the cost does not outweight the benefit. Is there a rough estimate on cost per square foot to add these renewable energy sources and do you have experience implementing them on large commercial structures.

    I appreciate any information you can share.

    Cliff Jones, Broker
    KW Commercial

  224. Hi John,
    In very round numbers, for the building costs based on a simple building geometry, I would use $100/square foot for the office space, assuming tenants will finish out their own space, and $150/sq.ft. for lower end residential on the upper floor. This would result in a building that is $325,000. Again, this is very rough, and would need to be informed by the specific design. We have members of our design team that are licensed in Florida, and would be happy to discuss your project in more depth. A solid program is informed by the budget, and vice versa, and we can provide services from programming through permitting and beyond. Feel free to contact us any time when you are ready to take the next steps. Thanks!

  225. Hello, I am trying to get a ballpark figure for a 2 story taxpayer style building. Bottom floor is two offices, about 1300 sf total. Second floor is residential, also about 1300 sf. Lower end finishes. Total of 2600 sf. This is in Ft. Myers, FL. This project will have to be block construction. Any help estimating would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you,

  226. Thanks for your reply. Could you give me the location that you are looking to build in? Also, is this warehouse space or finished interiors for offices, retail…? As you can see from the post, location and intended use are the two key drivers to construction cost. Please let me know and we’re happy to help.

  227. Thanks for your reply Christina,
    Most importantly, are these spaces you are describing to be new construction as an addition to the airport, or are they tenant finish spaces within the existing buildings? The numbers on this post for recreation centers are for new ground-up construction, and would be relevant enough for a ballpark estimate for your project. However, if you are doing tenant finish, then the costs per square foot go down sharply. You would be looking at something more like $40-$60/square foot depending on how extensive your finishes and plumbing requirements are. Best of luck!

  228. Christina Anderson

    Hello. I am a student at the University of Illinois. I am currently doing a group research project on implementing gyms in airports. These gyms will be fairly small and most of our costs will be rental costs at the airports. We are also planning to build women’s and men’s locker rooms. These locker rooms will have two small bathroom stalls and a sink/vanity. Also, we would like to have about 4 showers in each locker room. Could anyone help me with cost estimates for solely these locker rooms? To save space we were looking into a circular shower design. With the water spouts meeting at a central location with four showers branching out. I have a rough sketch of these showers but I cannot attach them to this post. If anyone could help me or at least direct me to a website that might help would be great!

    Thank you,

  229. Honestly Michelle, that’s very open. If it is just paint and flooring, it could be as little as $3-5 per square foot. But with walls, doors, ceiling, etc it goes up and if you are adding high end finishes and plumbing you could be at $50 per square foot. If you want to email me more project details or give me a call we can flush it out further.

  230. Tom Hochstatter

    I am taking a conceptual estimating class and would like to have some guide lines on price per square foot on a three story office shell building in Portland Oregon. It has a red iron framing, open web steel joists, membrane roof, steel studs and brick veneer on the outside.
    The big problem is a two story underground parking garage below the building, walls and bottom floor will be cast in place concrete the first level floor and ground level will use precast concrete.

    For checking our numbers I was going to use the $165.40 number for the building. But the parking garage I have no idea.

    Thanks for your help,

  231. Dear Sir,

    I am hoping to get an idea of the cost to renovate about 4000 sq ft of office space in florida. Is there a dollar amount that I can figure in looking at this type of? Your guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  232. Jasmine,
    Thank you for your comment. It sounds like the very first step is going to be to program the spaces and all of the functional requirements of the facility. From what you’ve described, you could easily have a facility that is between 20,000 and 30,000 square feet. At around $150 per square foot for either of your two locations, that would be a building cost of $3-$4.5 Million depending on actual sizes of the spaces. This cost would not include land and financing costs (which are highly variable based on location and available funding resources). It would also not include FF&E (Furnishings, Fixtures and Equipment) for the functional requirements of the facility (which is also highly variable). If you would like to discuss your program in more detail and begin to flesh out some conceptual ideas, we are happy to help.

    Best of luck!


  233. Hi Micayla and Callie,

    Happy to help! While the cost of the land and financing are not in the scope of my article, and would need to be validated by someone local in your area, the construction cost of the addition for those functions, along with stitching the addition onto the existing school, could be initially budgeted for $160/square foot. I say initially, because the level of complexity and quality of finishes could drive the number up or down from there easily 20% or more. So, simply take the area of your addition footprint, multiply by number of stories (assuming only one), and then multiply by $160 to get a conceptual number to work with. Best of luck!


  234. Micayla and Callie

    We are seniors at East High school. We’re working on an engineering project where we are redesigning our school kitchen. We are looking to add on to the school and were wondering what a good estimate would be for a 78′ x 53′ piece of land. Inside, we will have an office, kitchen prep area, a locker room, and bathrooms. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Micayla and Callie

  235. Jasmine Walthall


    I stumbled upon your site after deciding to finally sit down and put pen to paper to make my dreams a reality. I want to open a performing arts center in an inner city area of either FL or GA. Either Tampa or Atlanta. I would like for it to include a theater, computer lab, 2 classrooms, a dance studio, choir room with recording studio and an art studio. I am unsure of where to even start as far as costs or size goes…

    Could you perhaps give me a ballpark on the two? I would not even know where to begin on square foot except to say that my vision includes a theater about the size of a high school theater, your standard dance school dance studio, and everything else about the size it would be in a high school. I would also need space for about 5-6 admin offices. Would also like a decent sized kitchen and bathrooms. How big would that be? And how much would it cost ballpark with and without equipment?

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

  236. Hi Charles,

    Thank you for your comment. These construction costs are “bricks and mortar” costs per square foot. They are for the buildings themselves, with interior and exterior finishes. They do not include land costs, soft costs, entitlement costs or financing costs. So, in order to get an apples to apples comparison, you would really need to run a pro forma for each scenario that includes all of the costs, with the building costs being one of the many factors.

    On existing property, typical commercial appraisals will break out the value of the land and the value of the building(s). This way, you can compare apples-apples. For a renovation, it’s a similar story. Look at the land value, the building value, add in the renovation cost (at $30-$60/sq.ft. depending on finishes), and compare to the other scenarios.

    The purchase of a building involves investment strategies that are keyed to timelines as well, so your financing structure will be a critical piece of your pro forma. If you occupy 50% or more of the building, you qualify for SBA lending which requires less money down and a reasonable interest rate. Traditional financing will be a completely different story, and then there are hard money lenders which is yet a different picture. Too many variables to cover here, but if you are looking to build or renovate, we would love to continue the discussion on how EVstudio could help you with the architecture, engineering, planning and interiors of your project. Thanks!


  237. Pingback: The Dark Side of Mankato’s Downtown Revitalization | Nathaniel M Hood

  238. Hi,
    I have afew questions that I would like help with regards to finding a second location for my business…

    (1) I am currently looking at purchasing a 16,000 sq.ft building and property. This building is occupied currently on the first floor. (8000sq.ft). The second floor, will have another lease for 2000 sq.ft. I will occupy 4000 sq.ft and lease the remainder of the second floor (2000sq.ft). This building is approximately 10 years old and will need minimal build out. This is more of a high end building and would require much more purchase capital. This has greater investment potential but also much more risk should tenants not reopt upon the end of the leases.

    (2) Second scenario is a much smaller building and property built back in the 1950’s. My business would be the sole occupant in a 2400 sq.ft space (foot print) which is one large work area. This will need to be redone inside and outside and office space built out. Septic installed, water tapped, bathroom, added parking spaces and new curb cuts from the highway. This has about a 90% cheaper purchase price. This has the potential for a second floor doubling the space in the future, but would require an elevator for professional offices. This is a kind of K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid) property which is cheaper, needs more work, and has less risk as well as less tenant lease potential.

    (3) Third scenario is find vacant land and build new contruction. Much harder to get financing for in this economy and sell at a premium price to developers for retail store fronts.

    The first two properties have great visability and locations. The third land is unknow at this time but be in a similar area.

    Though I would like to go with the first scenario, all prices being equal, I’m not sure the financial institutions would want to take the risk even though 2/3’s of the space will be occupied. In all cases, the majority would be financed.

    Which leads me to….

    How is the price per sq.ft assessed for the purchase of these type of existing buildings and properties versus buying land and new construction costs?

    The properties are located in Morris County, New Jersey, 30 minutes outside of New York City.

  239. Ronald,

    Thank you for your inquiry. This data represents new construction from a vacant site to a completed building.
    If you need any help with architecture or engineering for your project, please let us know and we would be happy to discuss. Thanks!


  240. Hi Marilyn, thanks for contacting us.

    Have you had any initial design work done?

    As architects we can certainly give you a ballpark number based on rules of thumb. From what you described, I would estimate that you would be looking at about $100 per square foot (or $180,000) once you’ve stitched the addition into the existing space. Although how the new space affects the existing and the scope of remodel required is impossible to estimate without a plan. If you’d like to get into greater specifics, we should talk about doing some programming and conceptual design work to help you get closer.

    Do you have a budget for the project? It is better to start with a budget, and then design the project to meet it. This way, you are making decisions that are informed by the project criteria, rather than putting the cart before the horse.

    Thanks, Dean

  241. We would like to add 1800 square feet to our facility for our weight machines. We are located in anacortes, WA 98221. There would be no bathrooms, but we would have windows (3 – 6) and an entrance from the lobby. It would be on a slab and one story. I would appreciate any information you can share.

  242. Hi Glen, thanks for your interest. In the western region, we typically see approximately $40-$50 per square foot for general office Tenant Finish. That figure can be considerably higher for higher end finishes, high tech features or complex functions (eg. medical). From what you described, it sounds like median-level offices, but your location would also drive that figure. Given that Boston is on average 25% higher in construction costs than the Denver area, I might use a figure of approximately $50-$65 per square foot. Other factors can really influence that as well, but assuming all other conditions are typical, that’s a place to start until you can develop the plan and generate a line item budget. Good luck!

  243. Great Web Site with lots of information, question during these slow period of custom home building. We are looking into small comercial tenant build outs. We have three small projects to bid on all the same scope, an existing commercial building with open tenant space. One customer is looking at 4000 sq. ft of basic office space. 2 bathrooms, kitchen area, conferance room, balance to be offices any ideas on sq. ft. costs. This project is south of Boston Mass. no unions involved.
    Thanks for your feed back

  244. David,

    Thank you for your compliments. We haven’t heard from that contact in DE since our reply. Would be interested though to see if it moved forward. Take care!

  245. Dean:

    First time reviewing the website and information- as we are always getting the same questions posed to us relative to the “square foot” costs of a project. Your points are great notations all of us involved in a project often provide back for feedback to give the “ballpark”- good stuff
    We are close to Newark, DE- (2 tuition payments to UD) and did anything ever evolve from the June correspondence about the 16,000 sf building?


    David Zikorus
    Interstate Construction and Development Co
    Baltimore, MD

  246. Hi Melissa, Thanks for your inquiry. We actually do not study building maintenance costs as those can vary so greatly from one facility to the next. As a commercial building owner, however, I can recommend the best way to arrive at these costs is to prepare a pro forma for the individual annual costs associated with the building, both actual and expected. There should be dozens of line items including everything from the cost of utilities, trash removal, cleaning, etc. to the cost of insurance, property taxes, etc.. I also include a % for capital improvements that can accrue over time and pay for large, infrequent items like reroofing or repaving a parking lot. Once you have developed all of those costs, then you can forecast future years using a simple inflationary escalation rate. This way, you can develop an operations budget and adjust it at year end to keep it on track.

    I hope that helps and good luck with your project!


  247. Here’s a recent question I received by direct e-mail through this post…


    While cost per square foot varies by both region as well as local economies, I would expect single story office space in your area to be in the range of $150-$180/square feet, depending on many factors, from design configuration and level of finish to site requirements and availability of local labor. Concrete block warehouse-type office space on an open lot will be considerably less expensive, while specialty construction with tight site constraints could be more.

    RSMeans provides the general index for construction costs to be used in developing a starting point for a project budget. However, the actual design will drive actual costs and the budget should be validated at all benchmarks throughout the design process. A line item budget would be developed as soon as schematic architectural drawings are developed.

    If you would like to discuss the project in more detail, we can provide full scope architectural and engineering design services in your region, and would be happy to help at any level from schematic design to permitting and contract administration.

    Thank you for your interest in EVstudio,


  248. Hello,
    Your architect should actually be coordinating the bidding and negotiation on your behalf and aid you in the contractor selection process. You should speak with them about that scope of services as it is actually quite important to have them involved since they are also a party to the construction contract and cary numerous roles and responsibilities throughout construction all the way to the very end. If you have not yet selected an architect or started design for your project, please let me know and we would be happy to provide services in your location. Thanks!

  249. I’d like to find out what is the next step in finding the construction company to do your project. I’m looking for a right company to build an office building or multiple. Would you give me a suggestion where do I start from. Do I call differnet construction companies or is there any construction companies website to look them over for bidding and so on? please any advise will be appreciated. The location is in wichita, ks.


  250. Sunil,

    Dean here to address your question. The cost of construction should always exclude the cost of the land, financing costs, and often times most soft costs (entitlement attorneys, appraisers, real estate agents, architects, engineers, surveyors etc.). These variables would not allow us to compare projects on an apples to apples comparison. In addition, other related industries (like the lenders) also need to keep these separate as values for the building and the land have significant implications to the financing and should be looked at separately in all cases.

    Residential projects will have a very wide range of construction cost due to the custom nature and the ability to spend much more on significantly less square footage than a large commercial building. The result is that the cost per square foot winds up being very sensitive to things as simple as your cabinetry selection. The low end for very economic single family residential would be in the ballpark of $110 on the low end, but the high end can be extreme. We’ve seen $400 or more per square foot regularly on luxury vacation homes in Vail and Aspen and I’ve even seen as high as $1000 per square foot! These are not ordinary residential homes though, as most of us aren’t Hollywood stars. For a more realistic high end custom home, you should consider in the ballpark of $180-$220 per square foot.

    Because every project is different, you really need to discuss this first when you are programming the project with an architect. We help guide the budget expectations from the very first step in the design, and every subsequent step so that the project meets your budget expectations. If you need any help with this or you would like to discuss your project further, feel free to give us a call. We’re happy to help!

  251. Gene, This cost of construction excludes the value of the land doesn’t it? Are construction costs for residential projects a lot more or less?

  252. I am currently specializinig is custom built single family homes- I am trying to branch into the commercial market- I have the opportunity to bid on a church rec center in a small town in Ohio- my fear is not knowing the range of commercial cost per square foot so I can check my bid- the project is a 5375sq’ activity center- very simple structure – wood frame- brick wainscoating exterior- metal vertical 26 guage siding- wood siccor truss- asphalt shingles- interior mezanene of 535sq’- bathrooms to accomodate 276 total occupancy- small kitchen with stainless range/ vent hood/ sinks ect. – with this criteria do you have an educated cost per square foot I should be in

    much appreciated

    Steve Wallace

  253. Of course what Dean is talking about is market rate apartments and he’s including some of the soft costs.

    I’ve designed affordable housing under $100/sf. Of course replacement cost is generally much lower than the actual value because it doesn’t include items like the land, the site improvements and the entitlements. That’s why your insurance coverage amount is frequently lower than your sales price.

  254. Hi Rick,

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. As I mention in the article, local economies can significantly affect the cost of construction. I understand that the economy in Florida has been hit particularly hard in this recession, however, there is also a reasonable floor to the low end of construction cost. In other words, labor and materials would not go lower than the industry could tolerate, regardless of how dismal the market value of the real estate would be. In this scenario, new construction ceases, but replacement cost can still be determined.

    For your situation, your property is very similar to a product type we are very involved with in the markets we serve. For economy apartments with relatively uncomplicated structures, I would expect the cost per square foot to be in the range of $130 and $160 per square foot. Given current market conditions in your area, you would likely be on the lower end of that range. I would be hard pressed though to think that it could be much lower than that range though. Also bear in mind that there are local pockets in the country that can be insulated by the recession to some degree due to demographics or unique features even if they are surrounded by areas that are hardest hit by the recession. If you happen to be in one of these areas, then your replacement cost may be on the higher end of that range as industry trades would still be functioning well in those areas.

    Good luck to you and if you ever need architectural or engineering help with your development, we are capable of serving the Florida market and would be happy to discuss how we can serve you.


  255. I lost by brother last year. He left me his share of our apartment rental business. I am in the process of trying to estimate the value of the real estate. ONe of the estimates will be replacement cost.
    What would be the range of buliding cost in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. for apartments.
    Our product is economical 650 square foot 2 br 1 bath. Nice but low end cabinets, base appliances,etc.
    CBS, rectangle buildings, gable end roofs.
    I have built in 30 years. I don’t know how much cost have increased because of hurricain codes and increased goverment fees.
    Any guidance would be helpful.
    Thanks Rick

  256. Elizabeth,

    My name is Gene Dane and I am the “Principal In Charge” of the Texas office of EV Studio. Thank you for your recent inquiry about the cost per square foot of a Senior Center in the Dallas, Texas area.

    In order to most accurately answer your question, there are several questions that I must ask regarding the type of facility you are considering building.
    • Is there a need for a commercial kitchen in the facility?
    • Will there be full time staff at the facility?
    • Do you have an interest in incorporating any renewable energy resources into the project (solar or wind are currently the most practical)?
    • What level of quality is anticipated for the interior finishes?
    • What is the anticipated procurement method for the project (competitive bid, negotiated contract, design /build, etc.)?

    The short and quick answer is most likely between $100 per square foot and $140 per square foot. The point I was trying to make earlier is that there are many decisions that our clients make that ultimately determine the cost per square foot of their projects. It is our responsibility as architects and engineers to make sure the appropriate questions are asked and answered before we even get close to starting the design process.

    The most important question that we ask our clients concerns the budget for their project. The first process we go through with our clients is the evaluation of the project program vs. the project budget. In order to start down the path towards the successful design and construction of your project the program and the budget must be complimentary. We routinely help our clients match the scope of their project to their budget, or determine the appropriate budget if the scope is already clearly defined.

    The following is a quick example of how client needs determine the cost per square foot of a building:

    Client A and client B both have the same $500,000 budget for a Senior Center.

    Client A needs the maximum amount of space possible and lower quality finishes are acceptable. This scenario would result in a larger building and a lower cost per square foot. (5000 square foot building for $500,000 = $100 per square foot)

    Client B needs high end finishes and well appointed spaces. The size of the building is of secondary importance. This scenario would result in a smaller building and a higher cost per square foot. (3571 square foot building for $500,000 = $140 per square foot)

    Successful projects are the result of the completed facility meeting or exceeding our client’s expectations. We pay very close attention to communicating with our clients to insure their expectations are aligned with their budget and their program.

    Elizabeth, we appreciate the time you took to post your question and I hope I have answered your initial question. Please feel free to contact me directly with any other questions you might have concerning your project. We have successfully completed many projects like the one you are asking about and would enjoy working with you on this one.


    Gene Dane, AIA
    913 South Main Street
    Copperas Cove, Texas 76522
    (254) 547-3930 office
    (254) 547-4248 fax

    website: || blog:
    Did you know that EV Studio provides full scope Structural and Civil Engineering services in addition to Architecture and Planning? Click Here to find out more!

  257. I would like to know how much for a senior citizen center would cost per square feet for the Dallas, TX area. We are 30 miles north of Dallas in a community of about 40,000 and growing. We are not concerned with the land or the inside equipment.

  258. Pingback: Construction Cost per Square Foot of Community Centers in Major US Cities | Architecture, Engineering & Planning EVstudio | Denver & Evergreen Architect | Colorado & Central Texas | Blog

  259. Pingback: Cost Per Square Foot of Educational Facilities by Region | Architecture, Engineering & Planning EVstudio | Denver & Evergreen Architect | Colorado & Central Texas | Blog

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