Gordon Real Estate Services in Metrowest—Framingham, Natick & Ashland


What are some of the benefits of locating a business in the Metrowest area versus Boston, Massachusetts?

There are many benefits to locating an office, retail store or manufacturing facility in any of the cities that make up the Metrowest area of Massachusetts—including Framingham, Natick and Ashland.  One of the primary benefits is cost.  Whether you’re planning on buying or leasing space, you’ll save significantly by being located outside the city.  Boston real estate prices can be exorbitant.

Another big benefit is less traffic.  Boston is a great city, but it’s also very crowded.  Traffic can be bumper-to-bumper any time of the day or night.  While Framingham, Natick and Ashland do have rush hours, they are limited compared to the traffic jams you’ll see in Boston.  And let’s not even talk about trying to park in the City !

Locate your business in Metrowest, and you’ll have easy access to all of the conveniences of the city without all the expenses and hassles.


What are some of the most important considerations when looking for office space, commercial space or retail space in the Framingham, Natick and Ashland, Massachusetts areas ?

Choose a location that is convenient for your company and for your current employees.  You’ll also want the location to be conducive to attracting new employees.

If your business has customers, employees and vendors who do a lot of highway traveling, you’ll find it’s advantageous to be located near the turnpike exits or major routes.  Companies that operate a very local business may want to be in a well-known area in the center of town.

One other consideration is your neighbors.  You want to be in good company.  And sometimes it’s advantageous to locate in a building where tenants may exchange leads or clients with each other.  For example, a mortgage company and insurance or a law firm sharing the same building may be able to send business to each other.   A store will often benefit from a location near other stores that serve to attract customers.


What length lease should I be looking for?

Generally speaking, you should sign a lease only for the length of time you will need the space.  A lease is a contract, and you should take its obligations seriously.

There are advantages to both a short lease and a longer lease.  A short lease is ideal if you’re uncertain about the direction of your business and whether your need for space may be changing.  A short lease also gives you the option to consider buying a building, expand or move your current lease location.  Lastly, with a short lease, should rental prices decline, you’re not locked in to a high rent.

With a longer lease, you’re likely to get either a lower rent or more improvements done to the space by the landlord than in a shorter lease.  Also, because the landlord is guaranteed more money and a greater commitment than a shorter lease, he is more likely to make concessions to you.

Perhaps most important is that with a long lease, should rental rates rise, your rent is locked in at a below market rate.  You’re also assured of having a home for your business and not being evicted because the landlord may be able to get a higher rent from someone else or choose another use for your space.


What is an option to renew?

Options to renew are a good idea, as they are a one-way street in favor of you, the tenant.  Options give you the right, after the initial lease is up, to stay or to leave at your discretion.  You may want to consult with an attorney about these or other issues leasing issues.


What are some of the key ways I can save money on a lease for office space, industrial space or retail space in the Metrowest area?

One of the ways you can save money on a lease is to find space that is perfect or near perfect for you with a floor plan that is workable for you. Landlords prefer that you take the space as soon as possible, as this allows the landlord to begin receiving rent on an empty unit right away.  If you can take the space in “as is” condition, this saves time and cost on renovating the property.  For example, a dentist who can find a space previously built out as a dentist office will save renovation costs.

Keep in mind that painting and carpet replacement are relatively inexpensive compared to moving walls, which can involve rebuilding heating ducts and other costly construction work.

If you’re willing to sign a longer lease, you’re more likely to get a more attractive rental package than a shorter lease.

If you can supply a landlord with a strong financial statement showing that you are in good financial standing and can afford the rental payments, the landlord may be more inclined to give an attractive rate.

Of course, cost savings can also come by either reducing the size of the space or renting in a less expensive building or less expensive location.

One other cost-saving option is to find a sub-lease which is at a below market rent.  However, sub-lease situations that precisely meet your needs are not always available.


What are some of the key things I should determine before deciding to rent space?

You should decide the amount of rent you want to spend each month, the length of lease, the location, how much space and any special features you need, and what kind of floor plan will work best for you.


How can I determine the floor plan I need?

Consider how many employees will be in the space, how often they will be there (length of the work day, accommodating for different work shifts, etc.), what size space each employee will need, and what extra features are needed, such as conference rooms, extra large reception areas, training rooms, etc.

Should some of your employees be on the road a lot, they may be able to share an office or take a much smaller office area.  Sometimes movable partitions can be used.  They allow floor plans to change relatively easily if needed.  Be sure to keep in mind expansion needs as your business grows.


What special features should I look for in office space?

Of course, every business is different.  But, generally speaking the key considerations when looking at office buildings include outside signage, good access to public transportation, and parking for employees and visitors.  You will also want to consider your needs with regard to conference rooms, cafeterias, extra storage areas, and lobby areas.