Lease, Buy or Build: Why Creating Steel Buildings for Retail Is Ideal

Lease, Buy or Build: Why Creating Steel Buildings for Retail Is Ideal

Steel buildings have become a popular option for retail business owners who need a space that’s designed specifically for their needs.

One of the first decisions a retail business owner must deal with is choosing a space that suits their needs. For some, that might mean leasing property, while others might have the capital to buy commercial real estate. Many entrepreneurs are also realizing the benefit of erecting steel buildings from scratch.

Each approach has its own merits and risks, and in many situations the limiting factor is going to be cash flow. However, business owners that think long-term understand that the original upfront investment to design and build a prefab metal structure pays for itself down the road.


The main benefit of leasing is that your initial outlay of cash to get into business is generally less than buying, and definitely less than building. And providing your chosen space is vacant, you’ll be able to quickly move in a being operating.

Another advantage of leasing is that most communities have a variety of commercial spaces to choose from:

  • Malls
  • Smallers shopping plazas
  • Standalone buildings
  • Main shopping streets

The downside to leasing is that you won’t build any equity in the building. Any future appreciation will go to the owner, not you. 

Plus, you’ll be tied to the terms of the lease agreement. If there comes a time when you need to expand or modify the facility, your landlord may not agree to it. 


Compared to renting, purchasing commercial property will save you money in the long term. Plus if the building gains in value, you reap the benefit.

And whereas retailers who lease their space are bound to an agreement, owners have much more flexibility in how they operate.

One of the main disadvantages of buying an existing building is you’ll need to conform you business operation to work within its confines. Either that, or you’ll need to carry out potentially expensive renovations to make it work.

Other questions you’ll need to ask yourself include:

  • How old is the building?
  • Does it require constant maintenance?
  • Will the size and design suit your needs now, and in the future?
  • Is it energy efficient?
  • Is the interior and exterior modern or dated?


There are many reasons why metal building kits are ideal for retail outlets. Similar to buying, designing a steel building from the ground up requires an upfront investment. However, once it’s there it’ll perform exactly as you intend it, and it’ll provide years of worry-free operation. 

Plus, pre engineered metal buildings can be configured to suit pretty much any type of retail operation. A few examples include:

  • Sporting goods
  • Clothing stores
  • Auto parts depots
  • Furniture emporiums
  • Grocery stores

With a little preplanning, you can find suitable lots and locations for prefab buildings. In established shopping districts, it’s possible to find older buildings that require tearing down and rebuilding. 

Many communities are also developing newer commercial sectors with lots catering to small retail outlets all the way up to big box stores.

Are you trying to decide between leasing, buying and building a space for your retail business? Call Metal Structure Concepts to discuss the advantages of designing and erecting steel buildings for retail.