Building Class System from an Independent Project Manager


Independent Project Managers


Commercial properties are often described as “Trophy Class” or “Class A.” But what are the criteria define a building’s classification? And who really decides into which class a building falls? You typically see a broker or a landlord describing their building by a certain classification. However, both the broker and the landlord are trying to get the highest possible rent for the listed property. It’s important to have a third-party, like an independent project manager, evaluate if a building really falls into the class that it is marketing as.

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Rent, building finishes, system standards and efficiency, building amenities, location/accessibility and more are all factors that are used to decide a building’s classification. Building amenities can make a big impact. Amenities include services that are helpful to occupants of the building. Food facilities, copying services, mail collection, fitness centers, child care centers, etc. are all examples of amenities.

Building classifications can vary by market but below is an outline of what to look for when a building is described by a certain class.


Trophy Class– The definition of this class is somewhat varied, but a good rule of thumb are buildings in the top 1% of sale or rent prices. As opposed to Class A, a trophy class building should be rare, special and have many customized aspects.

Class A– Building has above average rents. Buildings have high quality standard finishes, state of the art systems, exceptional accessibility and a substantial market presence.

Class B- Rents are in the average range for the area. Building finishes are fair to good. Systems are adequate, but the building does not compete with Class A at the same price.

Class C- Functional space at rents that are below average.


Related- Common Facilities Management Terms

Katie Craven
Katie Craven is Marketing, Communication and Brand Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.
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