Inside a Site Lease Negotiation in Erwin, NC: Extend, Don’t Extend, Buy Out

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The town of Erwin has three options on an offer from American Tower regarding their monopole on Rt 421: leave their site as is, extend their lease, or sell to them out right for $359,873.56 according to the Daily Record.

Minutes of the meeting stated: “It is the consensus of the board to ask for a $35,000 signing bonus, extend the lease with a 20-year guarantee and give them a 40-year extension and make sure that the 3 percent escalation factor would start on day one.”

American countered the offer. “What they’re proposing now is they would assure us 10 years rent, regardless of the time frame of the extension,” a tower company spokesman told the Daily Record.  “There would be a $35,000 signing bonus and the lease would go up 3 percent each year.” He added the lease could be extended until 2059, or purchased for $350,000.

According to the meeting minutes, another proposal was submitted in October, with eight additional five-year terms, a $25,000 signing bonus and 15.7 percent revenue share, starting with a third tenant.

“Should that time frame not be available, carriers look for other towers to locate on, which could negatively impact the revenue stream of the town. American Tower needs to maintain its leases for 30-year periods or more so that they can renew existing leases and actively seek new tenants for their towers. Additionally, if the tower tenants are unable to renew their leases, and relocate to other sites, leaving the tower empty, (the tower) can be removed prior to the end of the lease,” the minutes read for the November 3 meeting.

American Tower is working to renegotiate the lease since there are only 13 years left on it, the Daily Record said.

December 19, 2016

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