Can a private school locate in a shopping mall?

I'm starting a 4th-8th grade private school in CA, with 8 - 10 students initially. Is the fire-code different for a school than a standard business? Can I rent a space in a shopping mall for my school?
In Leasing Property - Asked by N. R. - Dec 30, 2008
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Answer(s)

Sam M.
Researcher
Los Angeles, CA

You can rent a shopping mall of the zoning in your respective city or area allows for schools.
The fire rating is typically different, but some retail spaces build for large assemblage use could have the same fire rating as a school. This is something you will have to look into or call and I can give you further assistance.
Aaron Anderson, CBRE 323.838.3161

Jan 2, 2009
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Juan G.
Broker/Agent
Ontario, CA

Typically the parking ratio for retail will be 5 spaces per 1,000 SF of Retail space, whereas the ratio for a school will be significantly higher. In regards to fire codes, you really should be asking the local building authorities and the fire department.
The more important question is why would you put a school in a shopping mall? I would not want to drop off my kids at school with that type of placement. Those who can afford to pay to have their children attend private school would likely find this ridiculous, unless it is a part of a well designed mixed use center in a good area. You should be looking into free standing buildings close to higher income housing, perhaps taking over a vacant church and renovating.

Jan 14, 2009
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Chris S.
Broker/Agent
Coeur D'alene, ID

Zoning will dictate what you can do in each zone. You need to have adequate parking and meet safety regulations. You would probably be ok in the retail mall of recent construction. Start by checking with the building department at your city.
FYI - we have a night school in our local mall. it's fairly common.
chris.schreiber@century21.com

Jan 16, 2009
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