Sometimes, things happen faster than we think they will! Last night, the broker contacted me to say that the contractor could meet us at the potential space for Zoe's home today! Since the location has underground parking (with spaces specifically reserved for retail customers), I decided to try the underground parking rather than the street parking. It was a clean, well-lit garage with easy access to the ground level stores.
As usual, I got there a little early and I grabbed a green tea and sat in Starbucks, watching the people and traffic. Once again, I'm pleased with the energy and clientele of the area. Just before time to meet, I walked down the street to pick up a menu from the Chinese restaurant located at the site.
The broker and the contractor were a little early and we immediately went into the space. I was very pleased with the contractor all the way around - he was knowledgable, pleasant, and organized. These traits are very important to me in all things Zoe. (Jim asks me every day "Did you fire anyone today?" He knows...)
The contractor knows the City of Alexandria regulations and requirements well so he was able to look at the space with an eye for what the landlord will need to do versus what will be considered true tenant improvement. I talked to him about my general space requirements - flooring, walls, ceiling and ceiling heights, and walled off space requirements. We also discussed the egress regulations from the City.
He has asked the broker for a CAD or PDF drawing of the space (wonder if the landlord has Propidex?) so that he can identify where water, electric, and HVAC will be sourced. He will be preparing a line item quote for us so that we can have a clear understanding of what each component will cost. He believes that permitting can be done in less than two weeks (from the time we say "Go") and buildout should take 2 months or less. If we can get him the information he needs, he will get back to us Friday or Monday.
He also offered to introduce me to an architect that often does work with their firm and I enthusiastically accepted his offer. The broker has the Letter of Intent drafted and just wants to include the tenant improvement request. We also discussed the rent start and how we want that written into the lease. Of course, there are many options and we plan to ask for a certain amount of free rent. Much of it depends on how we define rent start. I prefer to do it from date of occupancy!
More on my ponderings about Zoe Girl tomorrow...very exciting news today!