(article updated on January 30, 2020)
Who Is Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC?
Founded in 2014, Vertical Bridge is a cell tower services company based in Boca Raton, Florida. They are currently the fifth largest holders of cell towers in the United States with an estimated holdings around 3,000+ cell towers. Vertical Bridge is the largest private holder of cell towers in the United States. Their top competitors American Tower Corporation, Crown Castle, and SBA Communications are all publicly traded companies. See how they compare to their competitors in our article Top 10 Cell Tower Companies.
Recently we have received communication from property owners that Vertical Bridge has been contacting property owners like you to sign a new cell tower lease.
Our clients have received offers typically well under market to lease their land. Often at the rate of $400.00 a month with a 7.5% term escalator (escalating every five years).
Remember that a major cell tower company will be guaranteed an annual rent escalator and a significantly higher monthly rental rate by their anchor tenant. According to SEC filings by American Tower Corporation a tenant lease typically has a guaranteed ten years of rent, with many options for additional term after the ten years.
Here are 7 Tips to Help Landlords With Vertical Bridge Lease Agreements
- Negotiate An Option Fee That Will Cover Your Expenses – In most option and lease agreements the option fee is minor. We have seen some option fees as low as $100.00. Make sure to negotiate an option fee that will cover any professional and legal expenses you may accrue in the transaction.
- Reduce Lease Area Size If Needed. Often cell tower tenants are requesting 100′ x 100′ lease areas. A cell tower operator will never need 10,000 square feet of land. Reduce their lease area to only what they need, and maybe give them a little area more for expansion.
- Pay Attention To Access & Utility Easements. Once these pathways are established, unless there is language in your lease agreement, you will be unable to move them for decades. Make sure their routes will not get in the way with any potential future development of the property.
- Understand The Rent You Should Receive. Are you being offered a fair rent amount? Should you receive more? Understand what is a good base rent to make sure you are not leaving money on the table.
- Lock-in A Fair Market Rent Escalator. The whole point of a rent escalator is to make sure the rent you receive keeps up with the rate of inflation. If your tenant is proposing to increase the rent every five years (every term), you will not keep up with inflation.
- Ensure Your Tenant Has Sufficient Insurance. Often insurance language in cell tower lease agreements is in adequate. Even worse it occasionally allows the tenant to self-insure. Unless your tenant is a billion dollar company such as AT&T, do not allow your tenant to self-insure. Make sure they will carry all appropriate insurance policies for their installation.
- Remove The Right Of First Refusal. This language can cost you tens-of-thousands of dollars in the event you want to sell your cell tower lease in the future. Your tenant wants the ability to freely assign their lease, shouldn’t you have the same right? After all, this is your land.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Contacted?
Vertical Bridge are cell tower lease experts who often hire professionals to get them great deals. Since your potential tenants have experts on their side, shouldn’t you?
Give Airwave Advisors a call today to discuss your cell tower opportunity to ensure YOU receive a fair market deal with your new cell tower lease.
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***We are not affiliated in any way with Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC. If you reached this post by error and are trying to reach Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC, please visit www.verticalbridge.com. ***
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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).