Leasing an Office, Flex, Industrial, or Warehouse Space Can Be So Confusing

Commercial Space Leasing Terminologies can be confusing. The differences between the spaces will be defined in this page.

Commercial Real Estate (CRE) jargon is way too confusing. When you hear the word flex space for lease, what do you think of? A gym with people flexing their muscles? In order to help you understand the commercial real estate terminologies, we have created an introduction to Office, Flex, Industrial, and Warehouse leasing page to help you learn the industry language.  

In addition, we have also created a page that will help you learn more about Commercial Real Estate Leasing Terms and Definitions. This page will provide a deep dive into understanding the industry terminology. 

For example, what is a Flex Office, and what is a Flex Industrial space? Is an Industrial Space the same as a Warehouse Space? Some of the confusing commercial real estate jargons you will encounter are included below: 

  • Office Space
  • Commercial Retail Space 
  • Medical Space 
  • Full-Service Office Space 
  • Flex Space 
  • Flex Office Space 
  • Full-Service Flex Space 
  • Warehouse Space 
  • Flex Warehouse Space 
  • Industrial Space 
  • Flex Industrial Space 
  • Multi-Tenant Office Space 
  • Multi-Tenant Flex Space 
  • Multi-Tenant Industrial Space 
  • Multi-Tenant Flex Industrial Space

Learn more about Commercial Real Estate Terms and Definitions

We have compiled a list of terms and definitions to assist you in understanding the commercial real estate industry definitions, concepts, and leasing terminology. These terms are necessary to understand on any property you are looking to lease. 

Click here to learn more
What is an Office Space? What is it typlically used for?

What is an Office Space?

Commercial real estate office space includes multi-tenant buildings, single-tenant buildings, small and large professional buildings, skyscrapers, and everything in between. Office space is a room or rooms in a one-story or multi-story building that provides a suitable office operation environment. Office spaces are the most common commercial space leased with a shared lobby area, hallways, elevators, and bathrooms.  

JW Management’s office spaces are in single-story buildings, which only take accessing 1-2 doors to get to your desk. Office space can be full-service or flex office spaces, depending on your business needs. The office spaces range from 500 square feet to over 10,000 square feet. Commercial office space is a perfect fit for businesses that need a physical location to assist walk-in customers, clients, and house employees that work in an office.


What is a Flex Space? 

A Flex Space from the word ‘flexible,’ is a single-story building with multiple units designed to give tenants flexibility in usage. It is a type of industrial space that also has an office space built out inside the building. However, Flex spaces have a slightly lower ceiling clear height (14 – 18 ft clear ceiling height) compared to a warehouse space. Usually, flex spaces only have windows at the front of the building. Some spaces also include docks and loading areas in the back with overhead doors. Flex Office Spaces usually will have open industrial concept ceilings or 9-foot drop ceilings.  

Flex spaces can be 100% office space or a combination of office and warehouse space. If your business needs flexible office space or both office and warehouse space, it is wise to consider leasing a Flex space.

Smiling Woman in an office Flex Space?
Smiling Woman and man working in a Warehouse Space?

What is a Warehouse Space?

Warehouse Space is a one-story commercial building with storage space for pallet racks. It will usually have a minimum 14-foot clear ceiling height and at least one dock to load and unload goods from large trucks. Warehouse spaces are mostly used to store inventory or as a distribution or service center. The distribution or service center can store, pack, and ship goods. Usually, the front of the warehouse is built out for general office requirements, such as showrooms, conference rooms, break areas, and offices.   

Nowadays, some businesses prefer converting warehouses into office space to give them more room for creativity. Warehouses are not just for industrial or storage use any longer. They offer flexible warehouse space in an open industrial office environment. Many businesses prefer the high ceilings in order to create mini video recording studios of their products and or services to update their social media vlogs and websites. 

What is an Industrial Space?

Industrial space is commonly used to identify a building used for light, medium, or heavy manufacturing, production or fabrication of goods, assembling goods and products, as well as conducting meetings. An industrial space is usually where the business operates, so it often has a mixture of office space, as well as manufacturing or warehousing space.  

Warehouse and Industrial spaces often look alike; that’s why they can be mistaken for one another. The only way to tell the difference is to call the leasing company to see if the space is right for your business application. Can the industrial space be used for light manufacturing or distribution? Will a large portion of the space be used for offices or just the front entrance area? Can the commercial space be used for research and developmentDepending on your answer to these questions, you will be able to determine whether an industrial or warehouse space is right for your business. 

Worker assembeling product in an Industrial Space
Team Meeting in an Office Retail Space?

What is a Retail Office Space?

A retail office is simply another term for describing a retail location or a space that is leased to sell services and goods to the general public. Location is usually important based on customer demographics. Businesses that sell services need to be accessible to their customers. The location should be favorable where they can place signage to direct people to their place of business. Having the name of the complex easily visible such as ‘Westgate Plaza’ or ‘1625 Mockingbird’ is also helpful. More importantly, they need to list their business on Google Maps due to the fact that most people will use smartphones to map a route to the business location and check if the multi-tenant complex has easy in and out parking spaces.  

Normally, the types of service businesses that lease a retail office space are Law firms, Accounting firms, Medical services, Employment agencies, Retail insurance, Security agencies, and Specialty services, etc.