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    Negotiating Expiring Cell Tower Leases.

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    Since 2004, Steel in the Air has serviced over 3,500 landowners nationwide, by helping them to negotiate (and renegotiate) favorable leases with wireless carriers, tower companies and lease buyout companies. If receiving fair market value for your wireless tower lease is important to you, then you have come to the right place. We can assist you with making an informed decision based on comprehensive knowledge of all the factors relating to the value of your lease  in the present and the future.

    Here’s what we can do for you if you’re dealing with an expiring cell tower lease

    Review the Expiring Lease

    We will evaluate the terms and language of your current lease in consideration of industry trends to determine the probability that your lease will be extended or expanded upon vs. the likelihood of its termination. We will also explain how each of these scenarios might affect you in both the short and long term.

    Audit the Cell Site and Lease

    We will review the tower or site based on “uniqueness” metrics to determine the feasibility and costs associated with possible site relocation vs. possible site termination. This analysis will include an investigation of zoning regulations, tenants, usage, and expected replacement costs vs. profit flow to the cell tower owner. The cell tower owner does a similar review when faced with higher lease rates at the extension of the lease to determine whether or not it would be more cost-effective to extend the lease or to enter a new lease with another property owner and build a new tower.

    Examine Other Comparable Lease Expirations

    We look at what other landowners were capable of negotiating when they extended their leases. This isn’t just comparing to other lease rates currently received by other landowners in the area- but what other landowners with similarly situated towers as yours negotiated when their lease was expiring. If you have a one carrier tower company-owned tower with 5 years remaining and low rent- we search our database of thousands of lease extension offers and amendments for other similar towers.

    Provide Fair Market valuation

    Every situation is different. Knowing what other landowners have received in similar situations is very helpful. However, knowing what makes your specific tower or lease more or less valuable to the tenant and how difficult it would or would not be to relocate is invaluable. We provide a very specific valuation of YOUR site at YOUR location under YOUR circumstances. We tell you the fair market value of YOUR lease at the time we do the assessment and we provide guidance on whether the lease will be more valuable in the future.

    Recommend a strategy

    We will determine how to best position yourself in the negotiations, and explain the upsides and downsides associated with each proposed term. This will include recommendations for rental amounts, lease duration, escalation percentages and additional clauses, such as Right of First Refusal and collocation terms.

    Answer Questions and Counsel Through Your Negotiation

    Once we tell you what we think your lease is worth- we continue to support you as you attempt to fully realize that value. Our services include unlimited questions and answers for a year subsequent to when we deliver our valuation. This includes reviewing subsequent lease extension offers and the proposed lease amendments. We will work with your attorney to provide actionable guidance on what lease clauses and conditions can be changed and what should be left alone

    The Fine Art of Negotiating Extensions to Expiring Cell Site Leases:.

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    Why these types of lease negotiations are much more complex

    There are a number of cell site leases that originated in the 1980s and early 1990s that are starting to reach the end of their negotiated terms. Owners are starting to receive inquiries from the current tenants asking to either buy out the lease in the form of an easement or to extend the lease for a nominal increase in fees or perhaps for what appears to be a sizeable one time signing bonus.
    “In some cases, the lease has been undervalued for years, and the expiration presents an excellent opportunity to renegotiate a better and more profitable lease.”
    What makes these negotiations much more difficult than normal lease negotiations is that there are many factors that contribute to how much more (or less) of a lease rate can be negotiated.

    In some cases, the lease has been undervalued for years, and the expiration presents an excellent opportunity to renegotiate a better and more profitable lease. Situations, where there are many tenants on the tower, are likely to be excellent opportunities to renegotiate for a better cell tower lease agreement.

    In other cases, the lease agreement was originally signed on the basis of higher expected revenues, and the tenant is currently upside down on the lease payments, i.e., the tower is not profitable for them and the landowner stands a good chance of killing the lease if they fail to extend at reasonable (lower) rates.

    There are numerous factors that contribute to these decisions most of which the average landowner does not even know about, yet alone understand. Fortunately, we have negotiated cell tower lease agreements and extensions with all the major carriers and the major tower companies.

    We know how to evaluate a site’s true value and how to ascertain the difficulty and the expense in building a new site to replace it.

    We can also project the current income on the tower and what the likely expenses are so that you have a good idea of how hard you can push. Our goal is to assist you in getting as much for your expiring cell site lease as possible – the operative word being “get”. We won’t put you in a situation where the lease may be terminated.

    And that’s where the fine art of cell tower lease negotiating comes in; we know how hard to push before the tower company decides to move the tower. Without the basic information of what the relative value of the expiring cell site is to the carrier or tower company, you are not negotiating, you are just blindly stabbing for the correct lease amount.

    Steel in the Air has assisted many clients with lease expirations. Our services are typically offered on a flat fee basis although in some cases we may be engaged on a contingency basis based upon the improvement we help you get in the lease extension. Contact us for more information.

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