Building Your Own Cell Tower - Checklist
If you're serious about building your own cell tower, here's what you'll need:
- $150,000 - This is the average cost of a cell phone tower, more or less but you'll need at least this much to complete the project. If you don't have that kind of money, you'll need to secure a loan that you personally guarantee with other collateral. Don't make the mistake of expecting the bank to finance a tower construction project like a commercial building or residential home.
- A Unique Piece of Property - If one of your neighbors has property that is similar to yours in size and zoning classification, don't waste your time. If you don't have the only parcel within ½ mile or more that is suitable for a tower, the wireless carrier will simply lease space from your neighbor or negotiate a lower lease rate with you. You must also make certain the property is large enough to meet the "fall zone" criteria for placement of a cell phone tower.
- Knowledge of Where the Wireless Carriers Need a Cell Phone Tower - You might believe you have the perfect property for a cell phone tower. We hate to burst your bubble, but chances are less than 2.5% that's true. Trying to develop a cell phone tower on a specific piece of property without knowing where the wireless carriers need to be is pure folly. No cell phone tower company finds the property first and then tries to determine where they need a cell phone tower. Don't assume just because coverage in your area is poor that a cell phone tower is needed -- you could be miles off. Please don't contact us to ask us where towers are needed (If we knew -- we would build them ourselves). If you've been approached, then there is probably a need.
- Letter of Intent from a Wireless Carrier - In most jurisdictions, you need a Letter of Intent from a wireless carrier to get approval for building a cell phone tower. If there is no zoning in your area, we strongly discourage you from attempting to build one. Getting a Letter of Intent requires that you show either ownership of the land or have permission from the landowner.
- Zoning Approval from your local zoning office.
If you meet all these criteria, the rest is fairly easy. We can point you in the direction of several reputable general contractors who can assist you with the development process. We can also review the financial viability of your project and estimate future lease-up potential for the cell phone tower.
We respectfully request that you not contact us for assistance finding a wireless carrier to lease your cell phone tower, once built. Nor can we assist you if you have a property you'd like to market to wireless carriers.