If this is your first time leasing commercial space, let's review some terminology and information about how commercial leasing works.

For those first-time prospects -- we’re glad you’re choosing to Start Downtown! Here’s what you’ll need to get started with your search:

  •         Business plan: This will help you determine your budget, plus most landlords will want to see some record of your business plan and financial statements before you sign a lease.
  •         Square footage requirements: Commercial buildings price their spaces by the square foot, so you’ll need to know how much space you need calculated in total square footage. Watch the short video we produced with NAIOP that fully explains terminology so you know what quoted prices include. 
  •        Amenities: Will you need a full commercial kitchen? Plumbing? Heavy amp electrical service? Loading dock? Think about how customers will interact with your space, how your employees will work in the space, and other features of the space and building itself that are deal-breakers for your business.
  •        Budget: According to your business plan, how much can you take on in overhead expenses like rent and utilities each month?


Val Beerbower
Director of First-Floor Development & Business Marketing

Preview Properties


If you need assistance refining your business plan, or any of the steps listed above, these organizations can help you get started:

  • Small Business Development Center         Located at The Entrepreneur Center in The Hub at the Arcade, this organization can provide free one-on-one assistance with your business plan and other elements of your business to ensure you're ready to tackle a commercial lease.Click here to get started. 
  • Launch Dayton         This collaborative effort connects entrepreneurs to peers, resources, and supporters of our region’s thriving startup community. Programs include the Early Risers Academy, the Launch Dayton Mentor Network, and LaunchPad networking events. Click here to explore Launch Dayton's resource network.
  • Citywide Development         Small businesses that need to explore finance options can check in with this local Small Business Administration lender. If you don't have an existing lending relationship with a financial institution, this could be a good starting point.   Click here to learn more.