Thursday, March 8, 2012

Signage - Issues For Both Landlord & Tenant

Commercial tenants often require signage, to promote both their brand and to identify themselves within the office/retail center. The signage issues needs to be ‘front & center' for the sake of both landlord & tenant, to ensure their expectations can be met. It should really be included at the site evaluation stage, prior to getting to a formal Agreement to Lease or Letter of Intent.

From a landlord’s perspective, they often have their own set of priorities with respect to property signage. They can include the following:

1) Monthly charges for a panel on a pylon or building mounted signboard
2) On-going maintenance costs
3) Ensuring conformity with the building fa├žade/architecture
4) Consistency with other tenants in the center
5) Complying with municipal sign bylaws
6) Effectiveness of signage in marketing the overall center.

It is important to note that the landlord maintains the right of approval on any tenant sign submission, and approval may be denied if the design is contrary to and does not meet the signage requirements as set out by the landlord.

With respect to the tenant, their requirements for signage are often based on the following:
1) Standardized branding (in the case of a national/multi-store operation)
2) Optimal or preferred positioning on a pylon/sign board (top billing)
3) Specific design requirements involving certain colours/unique fonts
4) Requirement for a separate/independent signage position
5) Specific visibility requirements

Much of this is and can be driven by a corporate requirement, which must be met. Otherwise, the center may be ruled out, based on not being able to meet the signage requirements.

It is easy to see how the parties can get to ‘cross-purposes’ rather quickly on the issue
of signage. Best practices is for the tenant to ensure their specific signage needs can be accommodated as early as possible in the process.

Again, seek out experienced commercial leasing brokers within your market, to work through your signage requirements and as they relate to the site options being considered. To check out our current inventory of retail properties, click here.

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