How to Get the Best Cell Tower Lease Rates in 2023?
Want to get the best cell tower lease rates in 2023? Proposals for new cell phone towers and new rooftop cell sites are typically received by property owners and landlords in the first half of the year. If you are contacted with a proposal for a new cell site in the fall or later, it’s usually because you are an alternate candidate and their initial location did not work out. It’s important to note that not all cell tower rental prices will be apples to apples comparisons. There is a difference between a direct carrier cell site lease that is typically proposed when Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile Sprint or AT&T proposed to lease space on a rooftop, billboard, church steeple, grain silo, water tank, smokestack or utility transmission tower. The major wireless carriers are no longer in the business of owning and managing cell tower portfolios. In 2022 you can expect that 80 to 90% of cell tower ground lease proposals where the construction of a monopoly, lattice or guyed wire tower will be constructed will be made by a cell tower developer who is building a tower for their subtenant, who will be Verizon, DISH, AT&T, US Cellular or T-Mobile Sprint.
Have You Received A Cell Tower Proposal In 2023?
When you receive a cell tower or cell site proposal in 2023, you should ask the leasing agent if the lease agreement or lease option agreement will be directly with the carrier, or will the lease agreement be directly with a cell tower management company? This is important to know because the cell tower developers have limitations on how much they can pay tenants in annual rent, whereas the direct carrier wireless leases can be more lucrative, but not always.
So, what are average cell tower lease rates in 2023?
Cell tower lease rates for 2023 vary by location. We can tell you that the average offers made to most property owners by tower developers for a 40 to 50-year lease agreement is approximately $500 to $600 per month, with 7.5% to 10% rental increases every 5-year term. These of course are probably not the business terms that you want to accept. You don’t want to be an average cell tower landlord.
Here is a sampling of very recent 2023 cell tower lease rates on newly proposed and on existing site renewals we have seen as of this week:
- Rural New Mexico: 30-year cell tower developer lease for $900 / month with zero rent increases for a new tower.
- Manhattan, NYC: $5,500 / month + AT&T trying to a rent reduction prior to lease expiration
- Milwaukee, WI: $1,033 / month 2-carrier Crown Castle cell phone tower
- Hartford County, CT: $65,000 / year expired 20+ year old AT&T lease
- Seattle Metro, WA: $700/month new AT&T lease
- Denver Metro, CO: $2,350 / month new Verizon tower lease
- Union County, NJ: $500 / month new T-Mobile ground lease
- Morgan County, Indiana: $1,125 / month new American Tower lease
- Bergen County, New Jersey: $120,000 per year (not a typical cell tower rent)
In 2023 cell tower lease rates are determined on a site by site basis.
Factors that influence the value of a cell tower land lease or rooftop cell site lease are primarily the type of lease, direct carrier or tower company lease, zoning determination, topography, and the availability of qualifying potential sites. The lower fewer sites are available to choose from, the more leverage one has in a lease negotiation to obtain a higher rental price and preferable terms.
2023 Cell Tower Developer Rental Rates
In 2023 most proposed cell tower developer rental rates will range from $500 to $900 per month, direct carrier leases will range from $700 to $2,000 per month for macro cell sites.
For small cells, which are smaller 1 to 3 antenna installations, where carriers can’t utilize utility poles in public right of ways, they will usually only offer most property owners $100 to $250 per month to rent a 5G small cell, although this amount can be a bit higher depending on the location. You need to make sure the carrier is not proposing a multiple antenna small cell solution that is masquerading as a macrocell site.
Cell Tower Management Company Lease Extension Rent Values
Single carrier sites being extended are going to be less valuable than a two, three or four carrier tower, and each location needs to be reviewed on a site by site basis. Values can differ significantly from $1,000 per month to over $15,000 per month, which is rare but we have seen higher.
Tower Genius is a cell tower lease consulting and transactional coaching firm that helps landlord and property owners navigate their way through the complicated process of negotiating a cell tower lease agreement. If you have any questions about how much you should be asking for your new cell tower on a monthly basis, or your mature cell tower lease is nearing final expiration and you need to extend it or you are considering selling your rental stream payment, contact Tower Genius Partners Kevin Donohue or Steve Kazella and 30-minute schedule a cell tower lease strategy session and get your questions answered.
The wireless carriers and tower companies have wireless industry specialists helping them, shouldn’t cell tower landlords have the USA’s top cell tower consultancy in their corner?