Decommissioning from a Real Estate Project Management Perspective

The word “decommissioning” is tossed around our office quite a bit. Until recently, I would typically try to put the word in context or pretend like I know what decommissioning is. However, upon learning what exactly decommissioning is, I figured that I can’t be the only person who didn’t know what this term meant. So, today’s blog post is an attempt to share my new knowledge from a team of real estate project management experts.

Like the word “project management,” the word “decommissioning” applies across many disciplines. In the context of a real estate project, decommissioning is the process of cleaning up a space after a tenant moves out. “Cleaning-up” is a much more involved process when it comes to a real estate project.


The stipulations and requirements that dictate all that has to go into the decommissioning process usually come out of the lease and negotiations with the landlord. Typical lease language will require a space to be left in “broom swept” condition upon exiting. However, it is not uncommon for a lease to require a space to be put back in it’s original layout. Meaning, if private offices, conference rooms, partition walls, etc. were installed, these items would have to be removed. If this is the case, and the landlord will not amend the language, our project management team will oversee the process for:

  • Removing all unwanted furniture- can be sold to a furniture vendor, the landlord may choose to retain some items for the next tenant, items can be donated, or thrown away.
  • Restoring space to original layout- confirming layout with landlord, aligning and scheduling all necessary contractors to perform construction, etc.
  • Cancelling or transferring any service vendors- water, coffee, janitorial, etc.
  • Cutting and deactivating any cables- electric, internet, phone, etc.

In some cases, the landlord will agree to handle the decommissioning for a fee paid by the existing tenant. This might be the case if the landlord has already signed a new tenant who plans to build out the space.

Related-Disciplines Involved in a Real Estate Project

Related- Base Building Work

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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