Tenant Improvement Project Basics: Enhancing Spaces for Business Success

A tenant improvement construction project, commonly referred to as “TI” or “leasehold improvement,” involves making modifications or upgrades to a commercial or retail space to better suit the specific needs and preferences of a tenant. This type of project occurs when a tenant leases a space within a larger building or complex and wants to customize it to align with their business requirements, brand identity, and operational functionality.

Tenant improvement projects can range in scope and complexity, but they typically involve various construction and design activities. In this article we walk you through an LGE Design Build restaurant TI from start to finish and highlight areas common in all tenant improvement projects.

  • Space Planning: The tenant works with architects or designers to plan the layout and flow of the space, considering factors like workspaces, customer areas, storage, and accessibility.
  • Interior Design: This involves selecting materials, finishes, colors, and other design elements that reflect the tenant’s branding and create a visually appealing environment.
  • Demolition and Build-Out: Depending on the extent of the improvements, some areas may need to be demolished, walls may need to be built or moved, and new partitions may be added to create the desired layout.
  • Electrical and Lighting: Wiring, lighting fixtures, and electrical outlets are installed or updated to meet the tenant’s technological and lighting needs.
  • Plumbing and HVAC: If necessary, plumbing systems, sinks, restrooms, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are installed or upgraded.
  • Flooring: New flooring materials such as carpet, hardwood, tile, or specialized flooring are installed to enhance aesthetics and functionality.
  • Cabinetry and Fixtures: Custom cabinetry, shelves, counters, and other fixtures are installed to optimize storage and display areas.
  • Security and Access Control: Security systems, access control measures, and surveillance equipment may be added to ensure safety and compliance with regulations.
  • Brand Integration: The tenant’s branding elements, such as logos, signage, and color schemes, are incorporated into the design to create a cohesive and recognizable atmosphere.
  • Furniture Installation: Furniture is selected and placed to accommodate employees, customers, and other occupants according to the space plan.

Throughout the project, various stakeholders collaborate, including the tenant, landlord, architects, contractors, interior designers, and possibly consultants specialized in areas like code compliance, accessibility, and sustainability.

Tenant improvement projects can vary in duration and cost based on the size of the space, the complexity of the modifications, and the specific needs of the tenant. The goal is to create a functional and appealing workspace that aligns with the tenant’s business operations while adhering to building codes and lease agreements.