"Expanding Wireless Communications increases the value of your roof."
As wireless communication skyrockets in use, "the roof", what was once only a maintenance expense is now a revenue generator.
In Seattle, Washington, antenna leases have recently jumped from $800 to $1200 per month and more. Like any real estate it is still, "location, location, location, …", but with higher density of users and as data rates increase, the demand for more antenna sites increases.
Seattle City Light is now leasing space on their power distribution towers, King County offers many of their facilities - water towers, etc. to meet the growing demand and generate revenues of sometimes more than $1800 per month.
Wireless site developers expect long and flexible lease arrangements - these developers often expect a five year lease with five, 5 year renewals. Developers look for long term commitments with the flexibility to change. Their terms are driven by uncertainties of the changing technology, increased demand, greater heights of surrounding buildings, and the developer usually covers the entire capital investment of installation which can cost as much as a half million dollars.
Proactive Planning, "A Simple Seven Step Process"
Assess your needs comprehensively without restricting yourself - what will make it worth your while? The developers will want little restrictions on access to your facility and roof, but preexisting and especially core tenant needs must be protected.
"Manage your developer" - allow for future providers wanting access to the space as demand grows: provide an abundance of pathway for potential future developers; involve those effected most e.g.don't allow interference to the widow washer's; any roof upgrades and alterations need to benefit you in the future; require sign-off on drawings; don't let the installation/development get out of control; minimize trip hazards.
Identify administrative reimbursement opportunities. - identify and ask for your additional costs to be covered. Depending on the size and number of installations, the administrative costs can become significant. New requirements could require more knowledgeable staff.
Determine the actual cost of ownership. Too often what appears to be an advantage, in the long run can become a burdensome cost. If your core tenants are adversely effected, be sure there is retribution and escape clauses
Maintain adaptable processes. - as demand increases and if your location is in demand you want to be able to take advantage of more opportunity. Completely understand the short and long range implications of what is being installed and/or provided. Minimize long term agreements - we are in a very volatile period of telecommunication development and you don't want to be locked into long term agreements that you will likely resent.
Understand the requirements and determine all of the costs to be recovered - new requirements will require more knowledgeable and possibly new staffing and the developer will want stream lined processes (note: there is a lot of money at stake for the carriers and every delay could cost them significant dollars in lost revenue).
Select a design that is flexible and comprehensive, providing appropriate connectivity - though location and zoning restrictions are important, there are other issues that are equally if not more important to the developer that makes your site more valuable than others: a clear "line-of-sight view" - unobstructed by trees and other buildings; a flat roof is best or at least the fewer peaks the better; identify weight load capacity; the developer will need space for power and electronics;
General Estimates of Rates (these will vary widely depending on the situations described above)
Type of Antenna Site Monthly Rent
WiFi & Paging $200 - $500
Repeater, monopole, vehicle identification
$500 - $800
Cellular and microwave $1,200 - $2,000
Headend Facilities - broadcast and Satellite up/down links $3,000 - $5,000
Note: rates will also vary depending on the current value of the application and the density of the installation - the cell sites are shrinking in the area covered and more capability is being squeezed out of smaller installations.
As an option, immediate cash can then be acquired by selling all or part of the lease future payments for a lump sum of cash now. For example if the lease calls for monthly payments of $1,000 for the next 10 years, you can sell all or any increment of the 10 years.
But don't get greedy, most developers are usually considering and weighing multiple sites and if you "drive too hard of a bargain, you will drive them next door".
I hope this helps to at least bring to light the issues to be "wrestled" with and the need to be proactive. With a little planning and foresight, your "roof revenue" could be significant. What may seem like another headache can be turned into another revenue generator. For further information contact, Chuck Lare at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us at email: email@example.com
Phone: (206) 465-1435