A Tale of Six Cities – CFO.com’s Alix Stuart analyzes corporate real estate stats in six major US cities

Alix Stuart’s A Tale of Six Cities is a well-written article about considerations a CFO must make related to real estate and peripheral costs impacted by real estate, like cost of living.  In the article, Alix identifies six major cities – 2 on the East Coast, 2 on the West Coast and 2 in the Central US – pairs of which account for three major points on the tenant/landlord power spectrum.  Below is a chart that identifies the six cities, linked to their respective reviews, and where they fall in the spectrum.  NOTE: This is not to say that Chicago and Austin are necessarily “value cities”, nor that New York and San Francisco are cut-throat, but rather that these classifications are relative to each other.

Power of Tenant/Landlord City #1 City #2
Stronger Landlord New York City, NY San Francisco, CA
Moderate Las Vegas, NV Charlotte, NC
Stronger Tenant Chicago, IL Austin, TX

For any corporation occupying space in one of these markets, Alix’s analysis of each market, paired with real-world examples and statistics, provides some insight into where the market is trending and whether it will continue to remain a financial opportunity… or hazard.  One thing that I did find absent from the report, however, is whether the average rent per square foot is net or gross.  I would imagine gross, but as we all know, it’s a bad idea to assume.

As a little added bonus, the final page of the article comprises five tips for dealing with rent-hungry landlords.  I particularly admire Jeff Klausner’s wily strategy of negotiating an option to buy their single-tenant office building and then flipping the property for a $2 million profit – now that’s unlocking hidden value.