TrueGotham TV Explores Square Feet: Episode Three

In last week’s episode of TGTV, our panel of experts shared the results of measuring a property and we suprisingly saw that each of them came up with numbers relatively close to one another.   It appears that each of them measured the property the exact same way by calculating "interior perimeter"…hmmmm?   Can you say "standardization?" 

In this episode, you will hear our panel discuss more reasons for the lack of standardization across the market with a particular focus this week on new development projects and what factors contribute to stated square feet in these projects.  Don Meade also touches briefly on real estate agent "wants and needs" in terms of square foot calculations.

This comment after last week’s episode from Justin Patwin, a Los Angeles based Architect, sheds some light on one way to "police" the standardization of stated square footage:

I am an architect from L.A. who has extensive experience in what are A.R.O. (Adaptive Reuse Ordinance) projects in our city. Those are existing historic buildings that have been retrofitted to accommodate residential "lofts". We have this conversation with our clients constantly due to lawsuits so I am interested to see how NYC handles this issue, because a buyer will always measure differently from a developer. Developers (and their architects) use a method that begins with how the City Planning Dept. and Building and Safety assess how large a potential project can be (known as F.A.R.- Floor Area Ratio). Developers then turn around and charge buyers for whatever they build to the extent the law allows(with mark-up of course). Typically in L.A., we measure from center to center of the demising walls (walls that divide units), and include the exterior wall and the corridor wall. If there is a stair, then the opening for that stair is not included as well as any other floor penetrations. Other than that columns, interior walls, etc. are included…

The one thing that would really alleviate the guess work is if BOMA were to create a standard for residential condos which right now they do not have. Do you plan to address this specific issue? Great that you are tackling this subject and I like that you have a few different professionals however I would have a developer too since the architect does not represent their point of view.

Would have been nice to have a developer on the panel but it appears that in NYC we would have had to poll several developers and their architects to get a sense of how each  calculates square footage.

Tune in next week for more as we explore accountability as it relates to overstating of square footage.

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