Historical Tenant Insight Supports Commercial Real Estate Decisions

If you’re in the commercial real estate industry, have you ever faced this challenge?  You are a buyer, a renter, or a broker looking at a building and you can see what’s going on now – however you have trouble understanding past occupancy to help make a decision about the future potential.

Understanding a commercial property’s past can help you understand:

  • Have the property’s tenants gone upscale or downscale over time?
  • Has there been a business in the property in the past that is similar to yours?  Did it survive?
  • How are the building’s occupants trending in terms of whether they are chains or independent businesses? 
  • Has the general character of all businesses on the property remained constant or changed, for example has a building always been a medical arts or white collar office building?

Having insight on the past helps you in making sound forward-looking decisions.  We can demonstrate how you can see a 10-year history of the building’s tenants.  We can do this by combining BuildingFootprintUSA™ data with current and historical business data from our partner, Infogroup. We work with Infogroup as they are creating the premier business dataset in the United States and Canada, complete with business name, business categorization and a full sheet of firmographic data for each business.  

Imagine a strip mall on Irvine Center Drive in Irvine, California that is a candidate for your buy or lease decision.  Typically you might know an address or two for the building.  However, with BuildingFootprintUSA you can identify every address found in the building.

From there you can draw on Infogroup’s historical business data.  Infogroup has over 20 years of historical business data – the business, its address, business classification and more.  

We can join each unique historical business record to every building footprint-based address, for each year, and create a report that shows what has happened at each location.  For example, 6608 Irvine Center has seen several tenants that are exercise instruction-related.  6614 Irvine Center has housed beauty and spa-related businesses.  6612 Irvine Center was first chiropractic care, and has shifted in recent years to a veterinary business.

Brands can change – 6622 Irvine Center shifted from a locally-owned pizza restaurant to a Domino’s pizza franchise; 6624 changed from Quiznos to Jimmy John’s.   There are steady businesses as well; at several of the building’s addresses there are tenants that have remained static – in 6644 through 6648 Irvine Center.

BuildingFootprintUSA data combined with Infogroup data makes this analysis possible.  With two datasets you can get the historical detail that answers pivotal questions about occupancy, tenant churn, historical business type presence and more.  

This is only the tip of what is possible.  From here you could:

  • Cross-reference against historical building ownership to understand if ownership changes drove any of the business occupancy change
  • Bring in additional firmographic attribution for more color – sales figures, employee data, and more 
  • Add in your own data to the analysis that could highlight competition, population movement data, or any proprietary ingredients that you use for decision making

What you see above is an example of one of our favorite things – blending BuildingFootprintUSA data with other rich content to provide insight that isn’t achievable using other methods.  Want to find out more about this data blending, and the power of richly attributed building footprint data plus Infogroup business data?  Start the conversation with us at or visit our contact page here

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LightBox acquires industry leader BuildingFootprintUSA™

IRVINE, CA – February 1, 2021 – LightBox, a leading provider of commercial real estate data and workflow solutions, announced the acquisition of BuildingFootprintUSA™, the premier provider of building and structure boundaries for location analytics. With this acquisition, LightBox will immediately make building footprints available to its customers.

Connecting BuildingFootprintUSA datasets to LightBox data will create the industry’s only fully integrated parcel, building structure, and property attribute datasets for comprehensive location intelligence across the commercial real estate, telecommunications, routing & logistics, and insurance markets, as well as the broader geospatial ecosystem.

“This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to innovation that serves the commercial real estate ecosystem. We’re looking to replace existing information silos with industry standard linked datasets. Our parcels and property data will now be integrated with rooftop-level geocodes, addresses, and boundaries,” said LightBox CEO, Eric Frank. “We strongly believe the future is one of connected datasets and we want to drive this change for the commercial real estate industry in the US and Canada.”

BuildingFootprintUSA was founded in 2016 in Albany, New York. The company serves customers of all size within commercial real estate, telecommunications, insurance, and mapping solutions with high-accuracy location data to facilitate accurate site selection, routing, spatial analysis and data visualization. Customers leverage building geometry, height, and ground elevation data to assist in determining potential flood risks, expanding broadband connectivity, policy planning for safety and security, and broader geospatial analytics.

“Joining LightBox gives us an exciting opportunity to grow and deliver our data and solutions to a broader segment of the commercial real estate market in the US and Canada,” said Karl Urich, founder and president of BuildingFootprintUSA. “By combining our datasets with those of LightBox, we will be able to offer the most accurate boundary, address, and geocoding dataset available.”

To learn more about how you can begin leveraging solutions that combine the best of BuildingFootprintUSA and LightBox today, please visit

LightBox is building the world’s leading real estate information and technology platform. LightBox customers comprise all types of enterprises needing authoritative real estate data and workflow solutions, including brokers, developers, investors, lenders, insurers, environmental consultants, corporations, technology companies, and valuation professionals. LightBox is backed by Silver Lake and Battery Ventures.

Learn More About LightBox at

At BFUSA LightBox, we develop next-generation geolocation data centered on the built environment — where people live, work, shop, and play. Our hyper-accurate building and address data helps customers make critical decisions that are highly dependent on location. Learn more about BFUSA.

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