Frank, I just bought your book and have to thank you for the wealth of info. There isn’t much on wallscapes though and I think there might be an opportunity for one in my area.

There is a 14 story vacant building for sale where all the major highways in my city converge. Has anyone been successful in putting up a wallscape on such a building. Building is abandoned, windows broken and graffiti all over it, I’m thinking a huge wallscape would improve the look and at the same time give the bank or owner some income in the interim. There are two sides of the building that look out to significant traffic. Can anyone comment on figuring out how much to lease the space from the owner/bank and how much to rent it out? Also, what would be a recommended size?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.


Wallscapes are the same as any other outdoor unit except 1) they cost less to build since the building is the structural component 2) they rent for more typcially because they are giant 3) their permit process is more complicated 4) the landowner gets a higher percentage because the cost is so low to build and the rent is so high.

I would first ask the city where the wall is located if they would give you a permit for it. If they say “no” ask them if you could request a variance. Build a really good presentation on why it would be good for the city and try for a variance. If you can get a permit, all you have to do is put in “anchors” – basically stainless steel hooks that the vinyl attaches to – on the wall. The vinyl will cost about $1 a square foot to manufacture. The installation is whatever you can negotiate – maybe $1,000 based on a wall of this size (or more).

There are no good comps (other than competing walls) to base the price on. I would hit ad agencies first and see if they have any clients and what the market would bear.

Frank, thank you for the prompt response. Any idea of how much I should expect to give the land owner? As you’ve stated in the past a good % is about 15-20% for a billboard but that is predicated upon the economics and cost of a structure. Since their is no real structure and the only cost is the anchors, vinyl and installation what should I expect to pay out? 30%? 35%?

Also if I can get the permit this should be a no brainer to the owner/bank right? Are there any obstacles in terms of the land owner I should be aware of? Any guidance on how much I can expect to rent the space for, just a ball park? There are very few wallscapes here and none of them have an owner plaque like a billboard would, so calling for comps seems like a long shot.


Welcome to the world of wallscapes, where everything is subjective and one-off custom made. I think ad agencies will be able to give you the most accurate feedback of rates. As far as the landowner, there is no rule, since it is almost 100% straight income with little capital cost. In Los Angeles, some landowners get 50% or more of revenue – it’s whatever you can negotiate.

Let us know if you need a printer for your wallscape project. We would love to help!


Hi Frank, can you tell me the proper steps I should take. Should I first approach the owner of the building for a wallscape and then go to the city for a permit or should I first go to the city to see if they will allow a permit for a specific location then go to the land owner?