Office properties in the US are generally classified into four categories and these are namely Trophy Class, Grade A, Grade B and Grade C. In this section we discuss characteristics of trophy class office properties, as generally defined by the real estate industry.

Trophy class office property is a term generally reserved for a small subset of the overall office space market.

Buildings in the class command the highest rents in the market it operates in, and are typically either new construction or timeless in their architecture and quality.

In addition to having features and amenities of Grade A Office properties, trophy class buildings are located in the best locations and are most exclusive in terms of services provided.

The following table generally summarises the key differences between the classification definitions of US office spaces, with information drawn from various industry entities such as the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, and Manulife US REIT.

Trophy class Grade A Class B Class C
Tenancy Household names in industry, usually first occupiers Prestigious tenants, usually first occupiers History of at least one previous tenant Long history of occupation by multiple previous tenants
Age <15 years <15 years 10-20 years >20 years
Quality Landmark architecture, renowned as prestigious buildings High quality construction and workmanship Average finishes, offers more utilitarian spaces In need of renovation, including basic building infrastructure
Features Indoor atrium and greenery, exclusive ancillary retail and F&B options. Indoor atrium and greenery, ancillary retail and F&B options. Large windows for natural light, and ceiling height of at least nine feet Outdated features and spaces Lacking in modern amenities
Services Personalised services concierge and security Concierge and security services May have attendants on duty during office hours No attendants on duty

This entry is part of REITsWeek's glossary of REITs and real estate investment terms.

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.