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how much does rental space cost for a studio ?
Old 11-06-2004, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I think I need to setup a studio in a small warehouse. What should I look for as in size and cost ? Is $300 month a good price ? I can swing $300 a month but thats about it. I am thinking of warehouse space not a store front.

Mike

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Re: how much does rental space cost for a studio ?
Old 11-06-2004, 08:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mike

It really depends on the real estate market. Commercial real estate is usually listed in $/sq ft. Commercial space is also graded A (nice building with amenities) B (regular building in nice area) and C (semi-industrial space and what you see is what you get). You're looking for class C space. In Houston, for example, class "C" space can run you .50 - 1.00/square foot. That's the monthly rate -- so if you have a 1,000 square foot studio at .75 a square foot your rent would be $750.

Houston has a Houston Association of Realtors site that lets you query on available commercial real estate. I'm sure that Tampa must have something like that. It will give you an idea of what the going rate would be.

One problem -- you don't need must space but it has to haev pretty good ceiling height and light control. People that handle commercial real estate won't give two cents about renting 1,000 square feet of space. You may have to find a place, hunt down the agent and make the deal yourself.

One suggestion -- find out if there are any artist's loft or coops around town. I'm in an artist's building in Houston at a below rate rent and I have 32 other artists in the building. I sell the other artist's photographic services, so it pays the rent....

Best of luck.

Bob

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Re: how much does rental space cost for a studio ?
Old 11-07-2004, 01:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Rental prices vary by market, location, condition of the building, whether you rent from the owner or through an agent. You just have to dive in and ask, maybe drive through some industrial areas and see what's available, but I doubt you'll find any space that's large enough with any amenities you'll need. Even though you're on a tight budget, its hard to do without things like a bathroom, private office or storage, loading door, air conditioning, high ceiling, and parking, for anywhere near $300/mo in Tampa. Also consider whether the area is SO industrial that you'll have trouble getting models to come over. (BTW, $300/month gets you a one-car garage - no amenities - in west LA).

You might also check out some local photo labs and see if anyone has posted a note (or post one yourself) regarding taking over a space, or has a studio to share. That was how I got into my last studio, and our sharing (space only, not our businesses) lasted 16 years over two different locations. Saves a lot of money because you obviously can't be there all the time, and you share on some of the big joint expenses. Of course you have to find someone you trust, which I luckily did on the first try. One of the other benefits of sharing, with the right person, is the opportunity to share ideas and problems, and sometimes (again, with the right person) some equipment. We happened to use the same brand of strobes, so over the years we were able to get buy without having to rent stuff as often if we needed more for a big shoot. The idea of getting into a co-op or artist's loft building is a good one, if such a thing exists in your area. Our studio was in a really old industrial park, in a nice area, which is why it was the first building on the block to be sold and torn down to build apartments.

You don't say whether you'll be doing the business part at that location (will you get mail there, have a phone, have an office, need a busisness license?) All things to think about and which will add to the startup costs as well. Unless the space was a studio before, you could have all sorts of expenses just getting it ready to move in with nothing more than clean floors and white walls. Also, don't forget things like utilites on top of your rent. Electricity, especially with a/c, can get expensive, and it would be unwise to open the place without liability insurance. Its expensive to be a starving artist.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman (happily working from home now)
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Re: how much does rental space cost for a studio ?
Old 11-07-2004, 08:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess I need to hit the streets and go look at whats out there . The more I think about it the more just renting a studio is the answer. I have been doing more location shooting and less studio work. I just hate having to pull out all my stuff and pack it away each time I have a shoot.

Thanks for everyones help.

Mike

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Re: how much does rental space cost for a studio ?
Old 11-07-2004, 11:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I know how you feel. After 20+ years in studios, I have all my shoot stuff sitting in cases and crates in my garage. On the other hand, I don't have that studio nut over my head, which is fine when you consider that 95% of my paying gigs are on location as well. For those that aren't, the client pays to rent a studio and my assistant to unpack and pack up the equipment. The only thing that I do miss is the freedom to spontaneously set up a test shoot or a freebie when I feel like it, but its something you learn to live with.

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Andy Pearlman
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