The 8 Types of Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is everywhere. Skyscrapers, gas stations, apartment buildings, and many other forms of commercial real estate exist in the world around us and serve our society by meeting a specific purpose, or use. There are approximately 8 different types of commercial real estate including:

  • Multifamily
  • Office
  • Industrial
  • Hotels/Hospitality
  • Mixed Use
  • Land
  • Special Purpose

1. Multifamily 

Multifamily properties are considered to be both residential and commercial real estate and are any property that has more than one unit, or residence. Multifamily properties with 4 or fewer units are the most common form of multifamily real estate and are typically found in neighborhoods along with single-family homes. Duplexes are multifamily properties with two units, triplexes are properties with three units, and fourplexes are properties with four units. Multifamily properties with 4 or fewer units are considered to be "beginner investment properties" by some as they are more easily financed and require a lower initial investment than their larger counterparts, apartment buildings.

Apartment buildings are multifamily properties with four or more units and consist of three types, low rise, mid rise, and high rise. Low-rise apartment buildings are typically 2-4 stories and can contain anywhere between 30-400 units within the community. Mid-rise apartments are multifamily properties with 5-12 stories and can contain anywhere from 30-120 units. Mid-rise apartments typically have elevators, various on-site amenities, and ample parking available nearby. High-rise apartments are most common in densely populated markets and usually contain 80+ units. Generally, any multifamily property with more than 10 stories is considered a high-rise while any multifamily property with more than 30 stories is considered to be a skyscraper.

For local assistance with searching for multifamily properties in Anchorage, or any other part of Alaska, feel free to reach out to me anytime.

2. Office

Office buildings can be thought of as apartment buildings for work. Businesses lease office space, or suites, inside office buildings of various sizes such as low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise, and occupy that space for a specified amount of time. Office buildings are categorized into three different categories: Class A, Class B, or Class C.

Class A office buildings are the best office buildings in the market. Examples of Class A office buildings in Anchorage are the Fireweed Business Center on the corner of Fireweed and the Seward Highway, or the brand new Class A office building being built at the intersection of 5th Avenue Anchorage and F Street.

Class B office buildings are office buildings that are considered to be average in their market, not the best, but certainly not the worst office buildings in the area.

Class C office buildings are buildings that are the least competitive in their market and are often in undesirable areas or are generally in poor or outdated condition.

For local assistance with searching for office space for lease in Anchorage, office buildings for sale in Anchorage, or office buildings/space in any other part of Alaska, make sure to reach out to me today to get expert guidance, fast.

3. Industrial

Industrial properties in Anchorage, or throughout Alaska, consist of a few types including light industrial, heavy industrial, flex warehouses, or large warehouses.

Light industrial property is generally simple manufacturing of somewhat sort and the spaces are typically easy to reconfigure or modify. Examples of light industrial uses are storage, light manufacturing, or office space that doesn't need the normal amenities found in office buildings.

Heavy industrial properties are used for heavy-duty manufacturing or heavy machinery and generally require extensive renovations to make the space suitable for another tenant. 

Flex warehouses are properties that can be easily modified to meet the needs of tenants looking for a mixture of industrial and office space.

Large warehouses are industrial properties that are extremely large (think 40,000 to 500,000 square feet or more) and are typically used for large-scale production or high-volume distribution.

For expert assistance with searching for industrial space for lease in Anchorage, warehouses for sale in Anchorage, or industrial buildings in any other part of Alaska, make sure to reach out to me anytime.

4. Retail

Retail buildings are typically found on major roadways and in major business districts in cities and consist of tenants, small and large, who sell merchandise or provide services directly to the public. Retail buildings come in a few different varieties including strip shopping centers, community retail centers, power centers, malls, and frag sites. 

Strip shopping centers are also known as strip malls and are typically smaller in size than large shopping centers. Strip centers usually include a mix of small business tenants such as laundromats, restaurants, clothing stores, or cafes.

 Community retail centers are larger in size and consist of multiple large tenants, called anchor tenants. An example mix might include a Walgreens, an Olive Garden, and another larger tenant who all serve large quantities of people on a daily basis.

Power centers usually have a couple of large retailers followed by a few smaller, inline retail stores. The larger retailers usually occupy between 20,000-250,000 square feet and attract the majority of the foot traffic to the center.

Regional malls are large shopping centers that are usually entirely self-contained and consist of anywhere between 300,000-2,000,000 square feet. A good example of a regional mall in Anchorage is the Dimond Center which consists of nearly 800,000 square feet of interior space.

5. Hotels

Hotels come in all shapes and sizes and are pretty self-explanatory. They usually have anywhere between 30-300+ rooms and come in four different varieties: full-service hotels, limited-service hotels, and extended-stay hotels.

6. Mixed Use

Mixed-use commercial real estate are properties that consist of more than one use such as a four-story building with a retail portion on the first floor and office or residential on the remaining three floors. Great examples of mixed-use buildings are found in downtown Anchorage or downtown Fairbanks where buildings have restaurants or stores on the first floor and office space on the remaining floors.

7. Vacant Land

Vacant land is undeveloped land and does not have anything built on top of the lot. Vacant land is hard to find in Anchorage due to its small size and being both land-locked and water-locked. 

8. Special-Purpose

Special-purpose commercial real estate are properties that do not meet any of the above-mentioned categories such as sports arenas, movie theatres, parking garages, or any other non-residential real estate that doesn't fit one of the other 7 property descriptions.

For assistance with searching for commercial properties in Anchorage, feel free to reach out to me directly via email or phone, anytime!

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