It appears that many of the initial Verizon’s cell phone tower leases are getting ready to expire over the next few years. This includes a number of towers acquired by Crown Castle. Although hardly empirical- our data suggests that Verizon is waiting to approach many landowners until a few months prior to the expiration of their cell phone tower leases.
Steel in the Air has been representing an increasing number of Verizon cell phone tower lease ground owners who are being approached to extend their existing cell phone tower leases. These leases were signed back in the 80’s in the original days of cellular.
Negotiating these expiriring Verizon cell tower leases can be tricky- and requires a full evaluation of how valuable the cell tower site is to Verizon. This encompasses knowing:
1. Voice and data traffic the cell site handles (typically in minutes of use)
2. Underlying demographics of the site location
3. Coverage objective of the location
4. Available alternatives for Verizon should negotiations go poorly
5. Existing lease rates for other cell sites in the area (not average cell tower lease rate but the 90 percentile rates)
6. Zoning criteria for relocation of a tower
The key to these negotiations is not determining simply the maximum amount that Verizon will agree to for the cell site lease- but to determine what the maximum amount they will agree to but not start looking for a new cell tower site as soon as the lease is signed. Some landowners have gotten too greedy – believing that they negotiated a great deal, only to have the carrier leave in a year or two when they found a better alternative.
If you have been contacted to negotiation an extension to an expiring Verizon cell phone tower lease or rooftop cell site lease, please see our webpage on the subject for further information.
Please note that Verizon and Crown Castle are registered trademarks of the respective companies- Steel in the Air is not affiliated with either company in any fashion.