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Thread: Ask your cell-tower questions here

  1. #1
    towerguy is offline Member
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    Question Ask your cell-tower questions here

    I am curious, as a full-time developer of cell-tower sites, what type of questions might be out there about tower sites from your side of the business. I encourage you to post your question(s) here, even if it has already been posted in this thread. This will help me determine the most common questions and possibly put together a FAQ (frequenty asked questions) section.

    You may have read or otherwise been told that it is not possible to pursue a cell-tower (and the associated rent payment) for your facility, but that's not 100% correct. It is possible to do, but isn't quite as simple as some other ancillary revenue sources to add. For instance, you could offer packaging and mailing services if you were willing to pick up the associated costs, and as long as zoning allowed retailing in your facility. Cell-towers are quite a bit more involved, which is not to say that getting mailing services right is easy.

    No question is too obscure, and I will do my very best to answer each and every question. Also, I will provide each questioner free of charge a "tip sheet" that I use with my property owners, identifying the big concerns when working with a wireless company on your property. Please list your question or questions below, and send me your name and email address to kit.nickel@groundrights.com, and I will reply with your free tip sheet.

    Now it's time to play stump the towerguy. If we get at least 100 questions posted, I will put in every name that participated, and raffle off a 12" miniature monopole tower from towerawards. See photo below for a sample of their work.



    Good luck!
    Over 1000 towers served and growing.

  2. #2
    towerguy is offline Member
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    Default Comments and Questions

    I have received a great volume of email in the past several weeks asking questions about cell-sites in general, and about how best to try and obtain one (and the associated rent payment, of course) for specific properties.

    I am posting two questions below with the permission of a newly registered member, Ryan Auten. I am happy to reply to individual email messages as time permits, but why not post your question(s) here so that the entire community can benefit? If you have a question, I can almost guarantee that somebody else wants to know the answer as well.

    Ryan asks,

    1) Can a person with an empty plot of land apply for a cell tower site? If so, what's the process for doing so?

    2) Out of curiosity, what is the typical lease rate/rent payment that could be expected?

    Thank you, Ryan. Both are excellent questions and very commonly asked.

    A1) Anyone can pursue a cell-tower site. It isn't necessary to have a self storage (or other) business located on the property you own or manage. The zoning required for a self storage business is very similar to that for cell-sites, which is why they make such great partners.

    In certain places, zoning (or the lack thereof) may even make it possible to put a cell-tower in your backyard, if you were inclined to do so. I can't do it in my neighborhood (and Mrs. towerguy would probably not want it RIGHT THERE) because of zoning and deed restrictions. We have considered putting up a wind turbine, though, and that isn't too much shorter than a cell-tower.

    To pursue a tower-site for your property, you need to be like Sherlock Holmes. Clues are available everywhere in public records, but many people just don't know where to look. There is no central clearinghouse to match tower builders and property owners, but it's my hope to bring a site online in early 2009 doing just that. In the meantime, call your local zoning, planning or building office and ask them if any cell-sites have been applied for or granted a permit for in the past 18 months. You want to make sure to ask not just about towers, but about any wireless company that came through their process, because antennas can be placed in many locations. There is almost always one person who handles applications for cell-sites, and this is who you want to speak with. Your goal is to learn a name and a phone number of the person who applied. Remember; public records are available for inspection upon request. Check out planning commission meeting minutes too!

    For more hints, I'm going to have to hold you off until later this year when I expect to publish a guide to pursuing tower sites.

    A2) How much you are offered is dependent on many factors, including how desirable the area is to cover, and how hard it is to construct a cell-tower. If you live on one of the coasts or in a top 15 metro area, and you have very difficult zoning (but your property allows tower-sites), you're more likely to be in the driver's seat and get a higher rent. The range would be from as low as $300 per month in rural areas with a low population, to $2500 per month or more in Boston or Los Angeles. Sizes of ground space and tower height vary as well. Some companies have begun buying easements to place new towers for a one-time lump-sum, and/or purchasing property outright.

    The one thing that typically does not work is calling a wireless company directly. I have yet to meet anyone that has been successful going this route. It doesn't make it impossible, but it's a needle in a haystack kind of thing.

    Good luck, and happy hunting!

    towerguy
    Last edited by towerguy; 7th April 2008 at 06:50 PM.
    Over 1000 towers served and growing.

  3. #3
    Guiltydebi is offline Junior Member
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    Default Location Interest

    We have been seriously considering doing this on our existing property. We are also building two additional properties and this seems like a very promising idea. When you have the list and there are sites in Riverside County in California we would be interested.

  4. #4
    towerguy is offline Member
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    Default Guilty of what?

    Debi:

    What's with the screen name? I guess we're all guilty of something, but I have to ask where the name comes from.

    There's lots to cover in Riverside County, and many high-profile communities, which could make for excellent opportunities. The I-10 corridor is probably the main coverage objective, but Riverside, Palm Springs and a few other cities would make sense as well. There are a few existing towers in Palm Springs, for example, but they are all very short. My guess is that zoning is very difficult in this area, and a self-storage facility might be able to obtain 2 or 3 towers, depending on location and property size.

    Also, I-15 and I-215 are probably a good bet.

    I'll keep up with you as things progress, but we should look at teaching you how to find the providers in your area rather than wait for them.

    towerguy
    Over 1000 towers served and growing.

  5. #5
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    gatorgal is offline Member
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    Default

    Our facility has been approached by a company looking to put a tower on our property. I'd love a tip sheet. information@astoragecenter.com

  6. #6
    towerguy is offline Member
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    Default Tip Sheet on its way

    Gatorgal:

    Thanks for the interest, and good luck! You're proof that it does happen.

    I've sent along the tip sheet by email, along with a little something "extra" that could really help. Let us all know how you fare in your dealings, and don't hesitate to call.

    towerguy
    Over 1000 towers served and growing.

  7. #7
    Al Christner is offline Junior Member
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    Default Potential Cell Tower Sites

    Good Afternoon,
    My partner and I have a small RE firm in Denver, CO. We form partnerships and purchase mini-storage yards. Currently we have three storage yards in Alabama, and two in New Mexico.
    In addition, I have 80 lots in a very small town in NE Colorado, and 178 acres of grass land also in NE Colorado.
    Would like to have info as to where the vendors in cell site locations are so can communicate the location of the above mentioned property, and any general info as re: what questions the vendor may have for me.
    Appreciate any info you can provide or guide me where to seek same.
    Al Christner
    A Better Way Realty
    Denver, CO

  8. #8
    Tall Terri is offline Senior Member
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    Default Cell Tower Guy

    A couple of ?? for ya.....

    In putting up a cell tower, do the radio waves break up your receiving other signals like radio?

    What about crossing signals - one cell phone being used to another and then gets crossed with someone else who wasn't invited?

    For example: I used to tune in a stereo to listen to news adn music and two girls on their CB about a block away would interrupt my signal and I would have to hear their conversations (I know, I'm aging myself with a CB).

    What about tower height clearance - can a tower be put on the roof of a building instead of from the ground?

    Thanks.
    Tall Terri

    Murphy was an Optomist!

 

 
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