U.S. and Canada design trends and cost guide

What are the macro factors affecting fit-out costs, and what is the cost of doing nothing?

May 17, 2023
  • Andrew Volz

JLL's design trends and cost guide provides benchmark costs to build out a range of office types across major markets in the United States and Canada. The data in this report is based on an analysis of thousands of construction projects managed by JLL Project and Development Services (PDS) teams across North America.

Construction has retained exceptional momentum into 2023, led by industrial and manufacturing, keeping prices generally elevated and the labor market tight. However, the office market faces a more turbulent future. Elevated vacancies, flight to quality, and new hybrid workplace models have limited the overall scope of development of the sector and is impacting values, particularly for commodity office assets. Coupled with higher costs of capital and tightening lending standards, office fit-out activity is increasingly selective. These are big issues with broad implications across the future of office real estate for decades to come and this report is not intended to exhaustively cover them all.

Instead, we focus on one critical piece: What does it cost to build offices capable of meeting the needs of tenants today?

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