Whether you’re looking for coworking space or you’re ready to move your team to a large private office, finding cheap office space for rent in Los Angeles can be challenging. That said, there are a variety of tactics that can better enable you to find office space within your budget. Factors like location, building class, amenities, and lease term will all determine monthly rental rates.
Naturally, with about four million people packed into roughly 500 square miles, L.A. boasts a thriving business scene in which many companies will want to establish a presence. Let’s examine the factors that impact office space costs in Los Angeles and identify which neighborhoods offer the best office space rental prices.
What Factors Affect the Cost of Office Space in L.A.?
Just like hunting for residential real estate, finding affordable Los Angeles office space is a matter of flexibility and tradeoffs. One workspace might be highly central and easily accessible — but asking rents may be higher than what you’re looking to spend. Another address might not be in your ideal zip code but may check a lot of other boxes: adequate square footage, ample parking, and a number of nearby amenities that employees can enjoy.
Below are some of the key factors that affect how much your business will pay for office space. Think about these when you’re deciding what your team needs and what you can live without.
As you browse listings for office space, you’ll notice several “building class” categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A buildings are generally the most expensive, while Class C workspace is the most affordable. These classifications can help you narrow down locations that will work for your business’s budget. Here’s a general overview:
- Class A: Think of executive office buildings with new, top-of-the-line construction and building infrastructure, as well as professional tenant management and a great location. In addition to the basic amenities, more elite facilities often have on-site restaurants, fitness centers with showers and locker rooms, childcare facilities, or hair salons. If you are looking for cheap office space for lease, these may not be your best bet.
- Class B: A step down from Class A, this category is a respectable place to receive clients but more middle-of-the-road in terms of infrastructure. It’s a popular category for affordable office space for established entrepreneurs or growing businesses. Class B spaces might be a little older but they still attract quality businesses because they’re often in good locations, close to amenities, and well-maintained.
- Class C: Lots of cheap, small office space for rent can fall into this category. Class C buildings are often older and lack the frills that come with more expensive office space. While it may not be perfect for you, you can try to negotiate flexible solutions and concessions with the property owner to adapt the site to work for your business’s needs.
Most office spaces offer the following standard office amenities:
- WiFi access
- Meeting space
- Break room with refrigerator
- Secured access for staff
Beyond those basics, there are other amenities that aren’t standard but can make your life easier and your employees happy. However, if your business is budget-conscious, you may decide you don’t need all the bells and whistles, such as:
- On-site parking (a coveted amenity in a car-centric city like L.A.!)
- Conveniences like on-site gyms and dining options
- Outdoor spaces, such as courtyards and nearby parks
No matter what kind of space you’re looking for, location is one of the biggest factors affecting cost. Two identical buildings in different neighborhoods could have very different rental costs based on the address.
The average rent for Los Angeles office space was $3.80 per square foot per month as of Q4 2020, but that varies significantly among different neighborhoods. For example, the San Gabriel Valley is one of the more affordable areas to lease office space, with pricing around $2.40 per square foot per month. On the other hand, West L.A. is twice as expensive, with monthly rents clocking in at more than $5 per square foot.
Lease Term Flexibility
A long-term lease may get you a better overall rate than a shorter-term lease. However, before you move in and commit to staying in a space for the long haul, make sure it’s equipped to meet all your needs — both now and in the future.
Think about the future of your business. Are you hoping to grow and expand into a larger space? Are you not sure what your headcount will look like in a year? If so, it might be worth paying a slightly higher rate with more lease-term flexibility, which can save you money in the long term.
Cheapest Neighborhoods for Los Angeles Office Spaces
When you’re searching for L.A. office space for rent, cheap options can seem difficult to find. But choosing the right neighborhood can make office space much more affordable for your business.
For example, choosing an area that’s further from the center of L.A. can help you save on rent while still having access to all that L.A. offers. Consider whether one of these neighborhoods might work as a home base for your company.
San Gabriel Valley
The San Gabriel Valley is the birthplace of an impressive array of businesses, including Sriracha manufacturer Huy Fong Foods, In-N-Out Burger, Trader Joe’s, and Panda Express. Most notably, it’s home to Pasadena, where the prestigious California Institute of Technology is located (alongside many other colleges and universities). This makes it easy for local businesses to recruit new grads and interns.
As of 2020, office space in San Gabriel Valley cost, on average, $2.40 per square foot per month to rent, or $28.80 per square foot per year. Class A space averaged just over $2.50 per square foot per month, while Class B space averaged around $2.35.
Coworking providers in the area include Industrious, Regus, and WeWork.
Located near the Los Angeles International Airport, LA’s South Bay has been the home of California’s aerospace industry since World War II. It’s also known as a hub for automotive companies, including Honda’s North American headquarters, and oil refining companies. Smaller companies looking for flexible space can also find coworking providers across the South Bay, such as WeWork and BizHaus.
Office space in the South Bay costs an average of $3.40 per square foot per month or $40.80 per year. This average is driven up by Class A space; Class B space in the South Bay is very affordable at around $2.50 per square foot for month, or $30 per square foot per year. This area is a hidden gem for LA-based businesses, especially if your business is related to one of the industries noted above.
This highly central district is home to neighborhoods such as Koreatown, Larchmont, and Miracle Mile. Prominent business center Wilshire Courtyard is located here as well, allowing local companies to benefit from a sizeable business community. Despite its prime location, Mid-Wilshire office space is on the more affordable side, with Class A office space averaging around $3.30 per square foot per month, or just under $40 per square foot per year.
Coworking space providers in the area include Regus and WeWork.
At SquareFoot, we work to connect you with leasing opportunities that suit your business needs, no matter what they are. If you have more questions about affordable office space in Los Angeles, contact us.