What are the Different Types of Commercial Real Estate?

If you’re looking to get into commercial real estate, you will need to know the different types of commercial real estate. Keep reading to learn about the six types and what they comprise. 


With office commercial real estate, you have two types: urban or suburban. Cities have urban office buildings, which include skyscrapers and high-rise properties. Suburban offices are normally smaller and sometimes grouped in office parks. Just one tenant can occupy the space or multiply tenants, with many built-to-suit.

Office Buildings Rank In Three Tiers:

  • Class A: These are the most prestigious buildings that compete for premier office space, with above-average rents for the area. Contractors build high-quality finishes, with the best systems, extraordinary accessibility, and a defined market presence.
  • Class B: Buildings that compete for a wide variety of users with above-average rents with building finishes and systems fair to good for the area. Class B doesn’t compete with class A for the same price.
  • Class C: Below-average for the area, class c competes for tenants requiring functional space.


The retail sector comprises retailers and restaurants people frequent and can have several tenants, with an anchor or lead tenant; they serve to drive traffic to the property. It can also be just standalone, single-use buildings.

Size, concept, types and number of tenants, as well as trade area are all factors in the retaIl sector, therefore, can be complicated to navigate. National chain stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, or Costco, considered big box centers are single-tenanted buildings. Pad sites that include a single tenant within a shopping center usually include a bank, drug store, or restaurant. 


With a variety of tenants, industrial buildings operate mainly outside the urban areas, particularly along major transportation routes. These low-rise buildings are often grouped into industrial parks and are categorized into four types:

  • Heavy Manufacturing – heavily customized buildings and house machinery manufacturers that need to operate, producing goods and services</b
  • Light Assemblynot as customized and could be used for product assembly or storage
  • Bulk Warehouselarge buildings used as distribution centers
  • Flex Industrialcontain a mix of both office and industrial space


This type of commercial real estate comprises all types outside of single-family, and includes apartments, condos, co-ops, and townhomes. These are also classified into Class A, B, and C. Apartment rental buildings are split into six property types:

  1. High-rise
  2. Mid-rise
  3. Garden-style
  4. Walk-up
  5. Manufactured housing community
  6. Special-purpose housing


Hotels may be boutique or independent or flagged (part of a major hotel chain). The hotel sector is also split into six separate categories, such as limited service, full service, boutique, casino, extended stay, and resort.

Special Purpose

Also owned by commercial real estate investors, but doesn’t fall within the above the above categories, special purpose includes churches, self-storage, amusement parks, and bowling alleys.

Belden Real Estate Management

If you’re looking into commercial real estate business or own properties and need management services, we can help. We find and place only the best-qualified tenants possible and in a reasonable timeframe in the Layton, Utah area. Contact us to learn more!