Elderly Mom's CC Lease Renews in 2017

My Mom is 83, and is dealing with Crown Castle, the current Operator since 2013 (and 2 other companies) who are interested in her cell tower lease that ends in 9/17. As her daughter, I have stepped in, and realize that even with a good attorney, we may need some guidance from an unbiased source.

The tower lease started in 1989, and her rent is still only about $800/mo. It is a low-access microwave tower, in upstate NY, but is loaded with dishes (none of which she gets additional money for) They say the only tenant is AT & T.

Crown has just done a $20K upgrade to the easement, which tells me they don't plan on moving elsewhere. This week they sent a very "short" 1 paragraph offer for a 30 yr. lease extension. In my opinion, it's not great.

The other 2 companies making offers are Tower Point and Unison. There offers are less than Crown, as they just want my mom's land lease. Crown owns the tower itself, so they know they can offer more.

What should we do? My Mom also needs to move soon as the property is more than she can deal with on her age.

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Dec 02, 2014
Lots of things to consider...
by: Stephen

Make sure that your mom doesn't sign anything, and make sure that Crown knows that you are the only point of contact.

We would like to see how many carriers/tenants are on the tower. You should see how many electrical meters are running and if they are labeled.

Crown likes long extensions, but that shouldn't worry you. Question is, do you renegotiate and hold the lease, sell now, or renegotiate and sell?

You mentioned your mom needs to move, can you still retain the property and rent it, or does it need to be sold? Can you subdivide the portion of land with the tower and keep it?

Crown will usually pay more than companies like Unison, but they won't usually customize a product for you like Tower Point, so there are ways these companies can compete.

Please call us so we can take a look at the tower, and the lease.

Tower Genius

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