How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Warehouse for a Day?
Warehouse spaces are among the most popular types of filming and event locations. Not only are they logistically appealing (with high-ceilings, large parking lots, and scratch resistant flooring and walls) they also offer a compelling cinematic charm with healthy supplies of rust and weathered decay.
Here at Giggster we've seen warehouse rentals carve out a significant share of total booking count and total spend for event and production rentals (currently about 9% of all Giggster inquiries are to rent a warehouse for a day). This activity gives us a very clear picture of the average booking price for a warehouse rental (at least in Los Angeles and New York).
Average price to rent a warehouse for a day in LA - $1,851
Average price to rent a warehouse for a day in NYC - $1,902
These averages should provide a rough idea of what you can expect to pay for a large industrial space in a major US city. If you live in a town like Detroit or Cleveland, where the supply of empty warehouses significantly outpaces rental demand, you can expect to find much more affordable properties.
Though a budget of $2,000 should have you well-covered for a warehouse location rental, that's not to say you can't find more affordable options. There are currently 6 warehouse locations in Los Angeles available for less than $50 per hour and 61 available for less than $100 per hour. Just keep in mind these hourly rates are based on smaller crews, so if you're working with a large film crew or are expecting hundreds of attendees at your warehouse event you can expect to pay more.
Warehouse rentals in large cities range from $800 to $4,000 per day. With the average day rate at a cost of $1,860.
What type of warehouse can I afford to rent for a day?
Over the past 3 years we’ve seen a lot of questions about how much a warehouse should cost - and while it varies wildly, the one thing we've learned for certain is that it's going to take cold hard cash. Exchange-based offers like producer credit, guest parts, Instagram mentions, or VIP access to the hottest party of the year aren't going to work.
With that in mind, here's a rough summary of what you can get for your money:
If you're paying out of your own pocket and just need a warehouse for a quick scene or small photoshoot you're going to be looking at properties that are less than 5,000 square feet, and typically, that are not free standing structures. The location shown above (24-hour Naturally Lit Multi-purpose Studio) is actually a floor within a commercial high-rise. While this presents certain challenges (think parking and transporting gear) for rates starting below $50 per hour it's going to be the best bet if you want an industrial look on a shoestring budget.
If you're able to budget around $100 per hour for a warehouse space, you should have a wide range of interesting options available. When you imagine a warehouse in your head, you're probably picturing properties similar to the image above (Derelict Industrial Warehouse). Expansive empty rooms, exposed ceilings, brick, and unfinished concrete floors are hallmarks of this location category. However, there are tons of outliers from minimalist all-white studios to graffiti-filled industrial art space.
Need a warehouse with some wow-factor? There are dozens of sensational options in cities like Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. The only downside, is that one-of-a-kind warehouses tend to have out-of-this-world prices. The location pictured above (The Dark Knight's Garage) is listed for $385 with an 8 hour minimum. While this is going to be prohibitively expensive for personal projects and small events, it's a great option if you have external financing or a healthy client budget.
What percentage of my budget should be spent on a warehouse rental?
Regardless of what type of warehouse you can afford, you should expect to dedicate a significant amount of your TOTAL budget to the rental. In the film production world it’s not uncommon for locations to stand out as the most expensive item in a line budget (typically 20-30% of a film’s budget). The lesson here is that, unlike crew members and equipment, which are easier to negotiate for and source cheap options, location rentals have rigid prices that you either pay for, or miss out on entirely (good luck re-creating the Batman Warehouse on a budget).
Where do I actually rent a warehouse?
In the old days you'd have to go knock on scary looking doors and hope someone answers. Fortunately, Giggster connects you directly with thousands of local property owners who want to rent their locations out for film and photo shoots. Simply start a new chat, sort out the details, and book directly and securely online.