Finding the right dental real estate in New York City takes research and persistence, but it really matters.
So, you’re thinking about space for your practice in New York – exciting! Navigating the commercial real estate market is a little different than the residential one, so we’ve created this short guide of tips and key pitfalls to avoid while trying to find a dental office for rent in New York City.
Where can you find a dental office for rent?
Commercial Real Estate Agents
Commercial Real Estate Agents use their local market knowledge and relationships alongside databases of properties to find and screen available properties for their clients.
Most commercial real estate agents specialize on either landlord representation or tenant representation. We almost exclusively represent medical tenants, the majority of which are dentists looking to find a dental office for rent.
Hit the Street
Driving areas you are interested in can be a good way to get a feel for what is out there on the market. When trying to find a dental office for rent in New York City, you’ll want to be sure to take note of the existing practices that are nearby.
New York City is divided into five major boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Each of these boroughs contains dozens or even hundreds of distinct neighborhoods.
Manhattan is the smallest and most densely populated of the boroughs, also making it one of the most expensive locations for real estate in the city. Manhattan neighborhoods are typically divided by their location in Lower, Midtown, or Uptown regions.
Brooklyn is New York’s most populous borough. The downtown area of Brooklyn is the largest continuous neighborhood in the outside boroughs. Other neighborhoods include Midwood, Brooklyn Heights, Flatbrush, and Kensington.
Staten Island is the most suburban of the five boroughs and contains the neighborhoods of St. George, Stapleton, and Clifton.
Queens is both the largest borough in terms of geography and the most diverse in terms of the ethnic makeup of the population. Neighborhoods include Flushing, Ozone Park, Jackson Heights, and Astoria. Downtown Flushing has become one of the busiest areas for commerce in the city.
The Bronx is the northernmost borough in New York City and contains neighborhoods such as Riverdale, Fieldston, and Morris Park.
Keep in mind, if you go to a landlord’s broker directly without representation, the landlord’s broker simply keeps the entire listing fee from the landlord instead of splitting the fee with an independent agent of your choosing.
Some landlords won’t pay a tenant agent (your agent) if you’ve discussed a space in depth with them on your own previously. This can make it tricky to bring in outside representation later.
There are several listing services that are available for free online. They are less comprehensive than the paid databases, and are often less frequently updated. Searching through them is a great way to get a feel for what you like and don’t like in commercial properties, but can be a hard way to find a dental office for rent. Take note of any property features or amenities that strike you as important for your practice.
How much space do you need to lease for your dental office?
Because operatory square footage is fairly fixed, the number of operatories and the size of additional rooms are the primary drivers of the square footage you’ll need to lease for your dental practice.
With space in New York City coming at a premium, it is a good idea to determine an absolute minimum square footage that will adequately accommodate your practice to be used as a baseline once you begin looking at specific properties. There is no need to waste time and effort looking at properties that are otherwise ideal but too small or too large for your needs.
400 – 450 square feet per operatory is a good rule of thumb for a general dentistry practice. Most practices are between 4 and 6 operatories, and are thus are between 1,800 and 3,000 square feet. This rule of thumb includes space for reception and a small private office.
The physical layout of the spaces you consider can make a difference. If the shell of the space is the right shape, 6 operatories can squeeze in to 2,000 square feet, but its rare.
Be careful getting carried away with non-revenue generating space in a practice – only go bigger on reception or team space if it is a central part of your business model.
Pediatric dental practices can often do an open-bay layout and squeeze an extra chair or two in for the same square footage that a general dentistry practice might lease. However, many just trade that saved space for increased square footage in their reception area.
Will you rent a chair out to an orthodontist? Be sure to plan for private operatories if you’ll need them.
Like pediatric practices, orthodontic practices often lease larger than normal reception/waiting areas, and aim for 4 or more operatories. Operatories are usually private, as well.
Periodontics, Orthodontics, Endodontics, and Oral Surgeons often need fewer operatories and can rent smaller spaces for their offices.
What makes a location great for a dental practice in New York City?
For a general dentistry office you want to consider a few key things:
- Local competition
- Proximity to target customer demographic
- Does the space promote the practice adequately (high traffic retail vs office space)
- Adequate parking
- No exclusives on dentistry with other tenants
If you’re a specialist, you are likely more concerned with:
- Proximity to referral sources
- Signage and other “built in” marketing provided by many retail sites may be less important
New York City Dental Demographics
New York City is the most populous – and most densely populated – city in the United States with an estimated population of 8,398,748 in 2018.
The New York metropolitan area is one of the largest and most densely populated in the world with a population around 20 million residents.
The median resident age in New York City is 36.2 years, below the average for the state of New York at 38.4 years.
The estimated median household income in the city is $58,856, below the state median of $62,909.
New York is a diverse city attracting immigrants from around the world. 2016 estimates show large minorities of Hispanic, Black, and Asian residents throughout the city.
Medical Real Estate in New York City
New York City contains some of the most valuable real estate in the world. A 2017 estimate puts the total value of all New York City property at over $1 trillion. Commercial rents in locations like midtown Manhattan are some of the most expensive in the world averaging around $3,000 per square foot.
Because costs per square foot can be extremely high and occupancies rare in certain competitive neighborhoods, it is vital to have a well-rounded understanding of the many factors that go into selecting an ideal location for your dental or other medical practice.
Get the benefits of agent representation at no cost to you
A commercial real estate agent specializing in medical leasing can help you to consider all of your options and select the perfect location that both fits within your budget and satisfies all of your business needs.
Best of all, commercial landlords typically pay the entire agent fee when finalizing an agreement. Why not take advantage of the benefits of enlisting qualified professional agents that will help you to get the best deal on the right property.
Ways to offset lease expenses in your dental practice
Although the rent for your New York City dental office may seem to take up a large part of your expenses, there are several ways you can help bring those costs down.
Consider renting out an operatory to specialists wishing to do work for patients in your area. Keep non-profit-producing space to a minimum. Efficient scheduling practices can help to eliminate the need for a large waiting space. Or, consider whether a similar but less expensive neighborhood would be a better deal for the bottom line.
Lease costs for healthcare real estate in New York City can be expensive, but there are enormous opportunities for great dentists who start their practices off right with the perfect location
Ready to find a dental office for rent?
We do the heavy lifting of combing through property databases and running demographics and competition reports for you. We work exclusively with medical clients, so we know how dental practices work and what it takes to be successful. Use the form below to get in touch and we’ll reach out shortly.
New York City has a strong Dental Community.
Here are some useful links and groups to help you get started:
- New York State Dental Association
- New York County and Second District Dental Societies
- Greater New York Dental Meeting 2018
- Second District Dental Society of New York
- New York County Dental Society
- Third District Dental Society of the State of New York
- The Bronx County Dental Society
- Queens County Dental Society