Commercial Building Classifications

by | Last updated Jun 4, 2020 | Commercial

People in the real estate industry use building classifications to identify the quality of a building. Building classes are important to understand if you are in the market for commercial real estate as the prices will vary between different building classifications.


Building Classifications

For Commercial Real Estate

There are 4 Types of buildings in the world of commercial real estate. from most expensive to cheapest they are:

  • Trophy Buildings 
  • Class A Buildings
  • Class B Buildings
  • Class C Buildings


Trophy Buildings 

Trophy buildings are the most expensive buildings on the market. As an architect I never liked the expression Trophy Building. I always call these Premiere Buildings but most people in the real estate business call them Trophy Buildings. These buildings represent the top 1% or 2% of the properties on the market. These buildings will have top of the line amenities. Trophy properties will be very well maintained. These are usually more architectural beautiful buildings with great interior design often designed by famous architects or they may be very well maintained  Landmarked Buildings of historic relevance.

Trophy buildings or Premiere Buildings are often in great locations and owned by the best management companies who truly care about building quality. These buildings will be top of the line in every way.

Trophy Properties are definitely the most expensive commercial real estate you can purchase or rent, and these will be the highest quality buildings.


Class A Buildings

Class A buildings are the second most expensive buildings on the market. These are very good buildings that are well maintained. They are owned and operated by some of the best management companies in the area. In a class A commercial building you will most likely have more amenities than other types of buildings. The most certainly will have a good quality staff, security, and provide highly maintained buildings, with good cleaning staff. Repairs in these buildings will usually be taken care of quickly and with good quality.

Class A commercial buildings may have great amenities and are very well maintained. These are usually in very good areas in high demand. Getting into a Class A commercial building will be more competitive these buildings will be more expensive then the average building in the city.


Class B Buildings

Class B buildings are your mid level buildings. These are going to be very common and represent a large portion of what is on the market. In my opinion if a building does not have a door man you can’t call it a Class B Building. These building should be well maintained with responsible and reliable management. They will be lacking in amenities but should provided a decent lobby with at least one door man. Class B buildings may represent the average rent for the area.


Class C Buildings

Class C buildings will be your cheapest buildings. These are building without door men and perhaps not as well maintained as other buildings. Class C buildings will certainly be the cheapest properties on the market.



We hope this post was helpful.. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. If you are interested in speaking with an architect you can contact us directly and we will be happy to hear about your upcoming project.


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Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 20 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.