The Average Commercial Construction Costs

Updated April 17, 2017

When weighing the benefits of investing in commercial construction, you will undoubtedly be interested in average construction cost. This cost differs given a number of different factors and should be seen as quite variable over time and location.


The average cost for commercial construction will be that average cost a contractor experiences when building a commercial property. The general contractor will typically designate a third party to come up with an estimate as to the expenditure. Average costs will depend on the region or city, the materials used, the type of structure being built as well as the market forces during the project.

Trending Since the 1980s

In the 1980s the average commercial construction cost was frequently more expensive than figures current to 2010. One of the primary reasons for this decline is the decreased value of steel. Rises in the cost of living may have made labour more costly, but at the same time, technological advances have made the labour dollar more efficiently spent. By the early 1990s, some estimates claim that average cost per square foot may have dropped as much as £19.


The average cost of construction pertains to location. According to a 2009 report by the architectural firm EV Studio, a one-story commercial building in New York City costs almost £65 more per square foot than it does in Cleveland ($215.03 vs. £105.4). The report not only outlines these city-based stats, but also their variation by type of commercial structure. Convenience stores cost much less than the one-story building per square foot, whereas fast food establishments cost markedly more.

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About the Author

Geoffrey St. Marie began writing professionally in 2010, with his work focusing on topics in history, culture, politics and society. He received his Bachelor of Arts in European history from Central Connecticut State University and his Master of Arts in modern European history from Brown University.