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Leased Space Process and Timeline

Leased Space Process and Timeline

Requests for new space are made through the  (google form) Request for New Space (external link)  form on the Facilities Management and Development (“Facilities”) website. Currently, requests for additional space will be realized through acquisition of leased space.

Completed Space and Renovation Request forms are triaged by space planning advisors before the leasing process begins. Once underway, the timeline to secure space and start the fit-out construction (renovation and furnishing) is between 5 – 10 months, but actual timing varies on a case-by-case basis. The total time, including the renovation may range from 11 – 24 months.

General process timelines for space requests

The following information will help familiarize faculty and staff with the process and timelines from start to finish. Some processes do partially overlap with activities running concurrently, but the following stages represent an average baseline of the process for leasing spaces as it unfolds from request to move-in.

  1. The request is submitted by the client group. 
  2. Space planning: Initial requirements are identified based on Facilities’ space guidelines, this may take one month or slightly more to complete. A detailed functional program is required for complex projects. (The “functional program” refers to an analysis of all the operational and functional requirements of the users.)
  3. Preliminary budget estimate: Facilities estimates the lease and renovation costs based on the functional program. The estimate will include a range of low to high costs based on current information. (This preliminary estimate is a guideline and not a market quotation representing specific services and materials.)
  4. Confirmation of funding and approval to proceed: Based on the preliminary budget estimate provided by Facilities during intake, the client group must confirm funding. Once funding is confirmed, Facilities will secure approval to proceed from the Macro Planning Committee (“Macro”).
  1. Broker engagement: An external real-estate broker is commissioned to find available spaces.
  2. Preliminary site visits/assessments: Facilities, the client group, Accessibility Services, Computing and Communications Services (CCS) and TMU Security evaluate potential sites.
  3. Revised budget estimate: Based on the short-listed spaces, a new estimate is prepared.
  1. Short list: If applicable, a short list of potential sites is documented in consultation with the client group.
  2. Test-fit: Facilities will prepare a test-fit of options to confirm a suitable choice of site, if necessary.
  3. Selection: The most suitable site(s) will then proceed to an “offer letter”.
  4. Offer letter: Facilities’ real estate team will draft a letter of offer with iterative reviews by legal counsel.
  5. Review of response: Facilities will review responses and/or counter offers from landlords.
  6. Negotiation: Facilities will negotiate for the best possible outcome for each short-listed option. This does not represent the final lease agreement, but is one important step in the process. The negotiation continues throughout the next major stage of the process.
  1. Final assessment of spaces and refined cost estimates: Fit-out and renovation costs will be re-estimated based on the configuration and features of the best option(s)
  2. Recommendation: Facilities will recommend the best fit, based on site selection criteria.
  3. Acceptances: The client group and space planning team will hand off the program to project management staff.
  4. Macro approval:  If terms are greater than the initial budget estimate, Facilities will update the  Macro Planning Committee (“Macro”) (opens in new window)  to confirm the funding and obtain approval to finalize terms.
  5. Fit-out planning: Project management staff is assigned to begin planning the design and construction stage and becomes the primary client group contact until move-in.
  1. Final lease agreement: The landlord provides a lease contract that reflects terms negotiated in the letter of offer.
  2. Review and approval: The real estate team and legal services will review the lease agreement, and negotiate to finalize and fine-tune other clauses. This may require several iterations.
  3. Execution: Facilities will prepare an execution package and submit it to internal legal services in accordance to the Execution of Contracts Policy. The contract will be executed thereafter.

The planning, renovations and furnishing of a leased space typically takes 10 – 16 months for office, administrative and dry research spaces. Timelines for laboratories and complex specialized spaces vary depending on the level of customization required.

Often some of the earliest steps of the renovation project planning can begin as potential spaces are being assessed and evaluated for suitability.

To find out more about each step in the renovation process go to the Renovation Request Process and Timeline.

How to make a request for new leased space

New space requests are submitted through an online form. To ensure you have all the information you need to correctly fill out the online form, please review the information below, which reflects the questions that will be asked in the form. If you can answer the questions below for your space request, then you have everything you need to fill out and submit the form.

  • Full name of contact person or project lead
  • Department
  • Faculty or unit
  • Email address of dean or unit head
  • Short project title (e.g. Sustainability Action Centre Office)
  • Is this request being submitted as an emergency project—one that requires immediate attention due to urgent temporary space requirements during repairs, a health and safety concern or to support a mission critical operations?
  • Please describe the nature of the emergency (if applicable).
  • Project description 
  • Type of new space requested: students, faculty, staff or other
  • Please enter the estimated full-time equivalents (FTE) for students, faculty, staff or other.
  • Project deadline or move-in date
  • Proximity to main TMU campus that is required
  • Is the funding source confirmed, anticipated or unknown?
  • What percent of secured funding will be from the sources below? 
    • Departmental budget (your area of responsibility)
    • Dean or senior director's budget
    • Grant(s)
    • Donations
    • Other secured funding sources
  • Do you anticipate additional funding to be required that is not yet confirmed?
  • What percent of anticipated funding will be from the sources below? 
    • Departmental budget (your area of responsibility)
    • Dean or senior director's budget
    • Grant(s)
    • Fundraising
    • Other anticipated funding sources
  • Fundraising status: please describe if fundraising for this project is a confirmed priority, if a fundraising plan is being developed, or if its status for fundraising is unknown.