Hi Everyone so I just finished negotiating two separate tower leases in SE Wisconsin. Each tower was leased to a different cellular company. Oddly enough (or perhaps it's not) both leases are now paying $950/month, with 3% year escalators and gave a $5,000 signing bonus to landlord.
I'm curious if anyone else out there has negotiated tower leases and how you did?
I think I could have got the rent up a little higher, perhaps $1000 or $1050 but the tower did their usual "we are going to take it down" and the Landlord was happy with the $950 as it was a 50% increase from what they were getting.
I work in development and acquisition of cell towers and whether you did well or not varies wildly based on the circumstances. 3% annual escalation is solid, many carriers are pushing for 2% annual (or equiv.).
Generally speaking, the numbers you list are what I would expect for a new build tower in a moderate or lower population area.
Based on your comment, these seem to have been existing towers. If they have multiple carriers and their term is running out, you have massive leverage. If there are multiple carriers, the threat to take down the tower is generally hollow, these installations are not cheap to set up.
I can probably give you a better idea with additional detail.
Thanks for the comments @Steven Quinn . You are correct that they are existing probably 20 years old or so. They are also in low population area. Both are located on the same parcel of land (only about 50 ft from one another) and are in a SE Wisconsin town of around 4500 people.
I don't know if each tower its self has multiple carriers on it. The one tow we negotiated with M3 or whatever that name is. The second tower I negotiated right with US Cellular.
Both towers reached out about 18 months prior to lease expirations and by the time we finished the back and forth and got all the docs signed, probably re-leased 12 months ahead of expirations.