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New Cell Tower Lease Questions

By Nick G. Foster

February 12, 2014

New Cell Tower Lease, Time To Celebrate!

Congratulations!  You just won the lottery. Your property has been identified by a cell carrier such as (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint) and they are interested in signing a new cell tower lease for some land or space on your roof that you are currently not using and they are going to start paying you rent! What are you waiting for? Sign all the paperwork and get those checks coming in pronto! Wait a minute – not so fast – let’s not run to the altar just yet. There are some very important things that you need to carefully consider prior to meeting your future tenant at the alter for a long term  arrangement.

Are You Receiving Fair Business Terms In The Deal?

An industry secret is carrier’s often discount cell tower rents and business terms for property owners who are not represented by experts in the wireless industry. It’s the old adage of knowledge is power and without expert representation the carrier has all the knowledge and typically dictates terms in negotiations. When the carrier submits an initial offer to you it will always be below market, but how low is it?  The only way to ensure that you are receiving a fair deal is to have the offer and project reviewed by a cell tower lease expert and we are here to help you with  your review.

Can We Improve Their Design?

Will the carrier be constructing a cell tower or a rooftop design? How big is the proposed Premises? Will they be installing their own electric meter? Are they any aesthetic concerns? Are there any plans to redevelop the property in the foreseeable future? Can we improve their design? These are just a few questions you need to consider prior to signing a 20 – 30 year agreement. Now is the time to review the design, because once it is constructed the carrier will likely not make any design changes.

Is The Proposed Agreement Fair To You?

If the agreement is on the carrier’s paper then the answer is no.  Verizon’s standard lease template has 36 provisions and AT&T’s standard template has 24 Provisions. That is a lot of provisions drafted by your future tenant with rights slanted in their favor not yours. What about provisions such as Holdover language that they may have omitted? This is not an agreement that you want to try to do your best making changes on. This is a typically a 25 year  agreement and you can greatly benefit from the valuable insight from an experienced cell tower lease expert.

Having a wireless carrier approach you to construct a cell tower or cell site on your property can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s important to review each step of the process thoroughly. The carrier has hired professionals who have negotiated hundreds of wireless leases before thereby putting property owners at a serious disadvantage in negotiations. Tip the scales of negotiation in your favor and beat the carriers at their own game! We have negotiated hundreds of new cell tower leases for property owners, let us help you today.

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Nick Foster Airwave Advisors

About Nick G. Foster

Since founding Airwave Advisors® in 2014, Mr. Foster has added value to over 400 clients ranging from the State of Nevada, City of Beverly Hills, to Habitat For Humanity. Mr. Foster focuses on cell tower lease renewals, buyouts, new lease negotiation, and cell site lease management. Prior to starting Airwave Advisors® Mr. Foster founded and led the Cell Site Services Group within nationwide commercial real estate services leader Cassidy Turley (now known as Cushman & Wakefield).

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