A client of our was approached by a site acquisition agent who they mistakenly thought was a representative of American Tower Corporation. American Tower leases space on their property for a tower. Due to the physical size of the building and the small size of the parcel, there is not much room remaining for expansion.
The site acquisition agent offered to sign a lease with the landowner to allow for future expansion for wireless collocations on the American Tower site. The problem is that this wasn’t an American Tower Corporation rep. We believe that the site acquisition agent was simply trying to get a below market lease from the landowner so that they could turn around and release the space to the next wireless carrier who was going to collocate on the American Tower site. This particular landowner thought the representative was from American Tower but after we investigated further, it was clear that they weren’t.
If the site acquisition agent was willing to pay for the lease, this might not have been so bad. Instead, they wanted an indefinate option to lease. In other words, they would not have to pay any rent until they chose to which would only occur when American Tower corp added another tenant and found that there was no expansion room for the ground lease.
We don’t know for sure whether this was only a one time only thing- but we suspect that it wasn’t. If it wasn’t, then it appears that cell site ground lessors have yet one more group of people that they don’t want to be contacted by.