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Commercial Real Estate Glossary

Common Area Maintenance: A potential lease expense, in addition to contractual rent, passed on to the tenant(s) for cleaning and/or maintenance of the building's common areas. For retail properties, this may include advertising and other associated expenses.
Cap Rate
See Overall or Total Cap Rate
Capital Expenditures
Includes long-lived structural components, leasing commissions, and tenant improvements.
Card Key Access
Security system that controls building access via an electronic card reading system. This type of system will typically record and store the time and identity of the user. See also: Amenities
Cash Flow
Income stream, before income taxes, generated on an annual basis after deducting Debt Service and Capital Expenditures from the Net Operating Income (NOI).
Category killer
A large national chain store specializing in one line of products, such as hardware and home improvements, office supplies, or toys, that can overwhelm both smaller and more diverse competitors because of its size, variety of merchandise, and prices.
Central Business District- the center or core downtown area where many different types of major uses are concentrated such as retail, office, and/or residential.
There are two types of CBSA areas: metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. Metropolitan statistical areas have an urban core of at least 50,000 and account for 83% of the U.S. population. Micropolitan statistical areas have an urban core between 10,000 and 49,999 and account for 10% of the U.S. population. Both areas are conglomerations of whole counties (or equivalents). Both areas con be combined to form Combined Statistical Areas (CSAs)
Ceiling Height
See Clear Height.
Cement/Gravel Plant
Industrial secondary type. A facility that processes and transfers rock materials. May also manufacture cement. Usually located in fenced area with large cranes and belt movers to move the material from place to place.
Certificate of Occupancy
Issued by a municipality when construction of improvements (whole buildings or TI's) have been completed. It may coincide with lease commencement.
Change in Title Vesting
This conveyance changes the manner in which title is held, grantor(s) and grantee(s), (otherwise known as the parties involved), remain the same and continue to hold the same proportionate interest. (While the names may change, the interests do not.)
Chemical/Oil Refinery
Industrial secondary type. A property used for the purpose of processing, refining, and storage of chemicals, oil and petroleum based products.
Class A Office
In general, a class A building is an extremely desirable investment-grade property with the highest quality construction and workmanship, materials and systems, significant architectural features, the highest quality/expensive finish and trim, abundant amenities, first rate maintenance and management; usually occupied by prestigious tenants with above average rental rates and in an excellent location with exceptional accessibility. They are most eagerly sought by international and national investors willing to pay a premium for quality and are often designed by architects whose names are immediately recognizable. A building meeting this criteria is often considered to be a landmark, either historical, architectural or both. It may have been built within the last 5-10 years, but if it is older, it has been renovated to maintain its status and provide it many amenities. Buildings of this stature can be one-of-a-kind with unique shape and floor plans, notable architectural design, excellent and possibly outstanding location and a definite market presence.
Class B Office
In general, a class B building offers more utilitarian space without special attractions. It will typically have ordinary architectural design and structural features, with average interior finish, systems, and floor plans, adequate systems and overall condition. It will typically not have the abundant amenities and location that a class A building will have. This is generally considered to be more of a speculative investment. The maintenance, management and tenants are average to good, although, Class B buildings are less appealing to tenants and may be deficient in a number of respects including floor plans, condition and facilities. They therefore attract a wide range of users with average rents. They lack prestige and must depend chiefly on lower price to attract tenants and investors. Typical investors are some national but mostly local.
Class C Office
In general, a class C building is a no-frills, older building that offers basic space. The property has below-average maintenance and management, a mixed or low tenant prestige, and inferior elevators and mechanical/electrical systems. As with Class B buildings, they lack prestige and must depend chiefly on lower price to attract tenants and investors.
Class F Office
A functionally or economically obsolete building is one that does not offer a viable alternative for space and does not "compete" with others of similar type for occupancy by businesses seeking a location for operations. These buildings will usually have externally visible physical or structural features as well as internal ones that render it undesirable to be leased and therefore not competitive with any other properties in the market. The property may even be tagged as "Condemned" by the local authorities.
Clear Height
In an Industrial or Flex building the distance measured from the top of the finished floor to the lowest part of the roof structure. These heights will vary from building to building as they are used to measure the vertical capacity of a building for storage and/or placement of equipment.

AKA Ceiling Height or Truss Height
Clear Span
See Column Spacing
Client Folder
In context of Property Professional's My Surveys feature, a space where a user can store and organize client contact information, saved surveys, saved survey snapshots, and file attachments as well as load a client's logo for reports. Also, client folders and their contents can be "shared" with other users.

See also: Publish, Attachment, Presentation
Close Date
The date that the purchase contract between a buyer and seller is completed and signed. This reflects the seller delivering the title and the buyer making full payment. AKA the date the ownership transfers from the seller to the buyer or the Contract Date.
Column Spacing
Typically the minimum width and depth between columns found within an industrial building - may apply to other types of building as well. A building that is "clear of columns', AKA clear span, does not have any columns within the building.
Commercial Leasing Co.
Indicates whether or not the tenant is involved in the commercial real estate industry.
Common Area
According to BOMA, it entails the areas on a floor such as washrooms, janitorial closets, electrical rooms, telephone rooms, mechanical rooms, elevator lobbies, and public corridors which are available primarily for the use of tenants on that floor. It does not include major vertical penetrations such as elevator shafts, stairways, equipment runs, etc.
Community Center
Typically offers a wider range of apparel and other soft goods than neighborhood centers. Among the more common anchors are supermarkets, super drugstores, and discount department stores. Community center tenants sometimes contain value-oriented big-box category dominant retailers selling such items as apparel, home improvement/furnishings, toys, electronics or sporting goods. The center is usually configured in a straight line as a strip, or may be laid out in an L or U shape, depending on the site and design. Of all the center types, community centers encompass the widest range of formats. For example, certain centers that are anchored by a large discount department store often have a discount focus. Others with a high percentage of square footage allocated to off-price retailers can be termed as off-price centers. The size of such a center ranges from 100,000 to 350,000 square feet.
Commuter Rail
Direct access to or, if in the suburbs, within reasonable walking distance of a commuter rail stop.
Comparison Survey
In context of Peering, a saved analytic survey selected for use in peer group analytic comparisons. See also: Peering, Survey
COMPS Property Type
There are 11 property types used by CoStar COMPS; Office, Multi-Family, Flex, Hospitality, Industrial, Land, Retail, Shopping Center, Health Care, Specialty, as well as Sports & Entertainment.
A lobby attendant provided by the building owner to assist tenants of the building with special requests such as getting tickets to the theater, ordering flowers or calling taxis, to name a few. Concierges are usually only found in buildings that are Class A.
Condition-CoStar Property
The state of a particular space available for lease. Conditions include those listed below. Built-Out: Space has existing tenant improvements performed on it, which make it able to be occupied by a tenant. Move-In: Space is "built-out" and a tenant may move in with no modifications. Shell: Space is new and unimproved, as a tenant has never previously occupied the space. It must be built-out prior to occupancy.
A type of ownership of single units (residential, industrial, office, or retail) or possibly multiple units in a multi-unit structure, combined with joint ownership of commonly used property (land areas, recreational facilities, garages, parking areas, sidewalks, hallways, stairs, lobbies, etc.). Any property type can be built or converted to this ownership arrangement. In most cases, individual unit owners hold title to the interior walls of their property. They also are members of the condominium association, which collectively owns the exterior walls of the structure, as well as the ground the structure sits on. Typically, each unit owner has to pay a regular fee to the association (called the "condo fee" or "assessment") which is then used to maintain common areas, pay common utility bills, maintain landscaping, remove trash, etc.
Condominium Conversion
Transforming the use or ownership of property, generally income-producing real estate, e.g., converting apartments into condominiums. Conversion may involve remodeling or partitioning and relocating tenants who do not choose to buy their units. For example: when a property (multi-family, office, or industrial) is purchased for the purpose of converting it to a "for sale" property in order to sell individual units. Say a forty-unit apartment building, currently rented as apartments, is purchased for conversion to sell the individual units. The legal description may or may not reflect a condominium plan. If not, then the legal description will have to be changed. Once the individual units reflect separated legal descriptions and comply with the subdivision map act of that state, the current tenants are relocated during reconstruction/remodeling. After reconstruction, the units are listed for sale, and existing tenants at the time of the conversion are usually offered the first chance to purchase the units.
Conferencing Facility
A common meeting facility that may be used by all of the building tenants. See also: Amenities
Construction Materials
For CoStar Property: Indicates what types of materials were used to construct the frame of the building. The construction types are: Masonry, Metal, Reinforced Concrete, Steel, and Wood Frame.
Consumer Price Index- CPI
An index of the cost of all goods and services to a typical consumer
Contiguous Space
In general: Space within a building that is, or is able to be joined together into a single block of space.

Contig in Buidling: Two or more blocks of available space located on vertically adjoining floors. This includes two or more full floors or a full floor with a vertically adjoining half floor.

Contig on Floor: Two or more spaces on the same floor that are actually touching, which can be combined into a single block of useable space.
Convenience Center
An open shopping center with fewer than half-a-dozen stores offering day-to-day necessities, such as basic groceries, dry cleaners, liquor store, video rentals, etc.
Convenience Store
Indicates there is a convenience store in the building.
A refrigerated storage area for perishable items.
Cooperative or Co-Op
In a cooperative or co-op you are buying shares of stock in the corporation that owns the apartment building(s) and grounds in which the apartment is located. Shares are assigned to each apartment and the number of shares is generally based upon the size of the unit, with larger units having more shares. The number of shares will determine the voting power of that unit's owner. A primary advantage of the cooperative is the pooling of the members' resources so that their buying power is leveraged, thus lowering the cost per member in all the services and products associated with home ownership (expenses). Another key element is that the members can screen and select who may live in the cooperative, unlike any other form of home ownership. A proprietary lease is granted to the owner, and this guarantees the right to occupy the apartment and to use the common areas. No other corporation or businesses may buy into the cooperative.
Core Factor
The Common Area reflected as a percentage of Net Rentable Area (Square Feet) devoted to the building's common areas (lobbies, rest rooms, corridors, etc.). This factor can be computed for an entire building or a single floor of a building. Also known as a Loss Factor or Rentable/Usable (R/U) Factor, it is calculated by dividing the usable square footage by the rentable square footage - 1.
Core Space
AKA Common Area - The areas on floor such as washrooms, janitorial closets, electrical rooms, telephone rooms, mechanical rooms, elevator lobbies, and public corridors which are available for the use of all tenants on that floor. It does not include major vertical penetrations such as elevator shafts stairways, equipment runs, etc. (Identified as a percentage of rentable area.)
Court Appointed Sale
The sale is not voluntary, but forced by a court action in order to dispose of the property and/or maintain it -- examples would be bankruptcy and receivership. For Bankruptcy Sale see separate definition. Receivership occurs when the lender does not want to take ownership and/or physical control after Foreclosure and the court appoints a Receiver to manage the property until the market improves and the lender/court determine it's time to sell.
A landscaped exterior area enclosed by walls or an adjoining building.
Floorplate area of the ground floor (Footprint) divided by the land area
Machinery used for loading, unloading and moving heavy loads through an industrial building. It runs along a track located on the ceiling of the building. There are also cab cranes that are located on the ceiling, and an operator can sit in the cab to operate the crane. The two crane types can run in tandem for heavier loads. The crane hook height is measured by the distance from the floor to the bottom of the hook when the hook is all the way up. Crane tonnage is the amount of weight the crane can handle, measured in tons ranging from low to high.
Cross Docks
Typically found on Truck Terminals and large distribution facilities. Cross Docks refer to loading docks on both sides of the building so material/freight can be easily moved from one truck to another - some facilites have have docks on three sides or all four sides.
A Combined Statistical Area consists of at least two contiguous Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA). CSAs are the government replacement of CMSAs