This question about living and working in a shop for rent, or a retail space for rent, or even a warehouse for rent, is one we are asked quite often, so let’s take a moment to clarify this matter with this article. We are RDS Real Estate, with over two-million square feet industrial and commercial property for rent in the Greater Fort Worth Metro area. Call us at 817-439-3224 for all of your property needs.
A definition of shop for rent.
Right out of the chute, we run into a little snag in simply trying to define a shop space for rent. Commonly, a shop for rent refers to a small retail location, like “that dress shop,” or “that quaint little souvenir shop by the park.” However, we have all heard of machine shops, or repair shops, and that is where the confusion happens.
Generally speaking, without putting too fine a point to it, a shop or rent, or a shop, is anywhere a cash transaction between retailer and customer occurs. It may float within the grey boundaries between commercial and industrial, but we believe this simply definition/clarification is the best to work with.
Can a shop for rent be a retail space for rent? Of course! Can it be a warehouse for rent, with an office attached, where product is sold directly to customers? Of course!
What is the primary purpose of the shop for rent?
With the live/work question in mind, one thing the local Planning Commission will look at is the primary purpose of the shop for rent, and this gets down to the fine print in the rental contract. Does the contract specifically say the property can only be used for retail transactions, or does it allow for some wiggle room with regards to the use of the property?
Please note, practically all properties have been used as a place to sleep by an exhausted business owner. From time to time, throwing up a cot in the storage room is just the easiest solution. However, we are talking about long-range usage as a place to live AND work, and in that case, you really need to look at the zoning of that particular area.
When in doubt, check the zoning of that area.
Is the area zoned for commercial AND residential usage? If it is, you are golden in living there. It is rare that you will find a double-usage zoning, but if you do, consider yourself a lucky business owner. There is no doubt that this will save you money over the long term. No rent payments for living; just the one rent on your place of business, thus saving you, literally, thousands of dollars per month.
Just because you can does not necessarily mean you should.
However, we would be remiss in our duties as a professional real estate broker, if we did not mention the old adage “just because you can does not necessarily mean that you should.” Working, and living, in one location has a major drawback: you can never escape your work, and that will wear on a person very quickly. It is just nice to be able to leave your job in the evening, relax, and clear your mind of business matters. You are never able to do that when you live in the midst of all those business matters.
We have no strong opinions, one way or another, regarding live/work in a shop for rent. We simply want you aware of the ramifications/regulations involved. When in doubt, check a local commercial real estate broker, or check with your local planning commission.
RDS Real Estate leads the way in Fort Worth with the absolute best commercial property for lease. Call us, tell us what you need, and then turn us loose to find it.