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Article Highlights

  • Adapting To a Tight Timeline
  • Building a Tax-Friendly Payout
  • Expertise and Relationships in Telecom
  • Industry Knowledge & Value
  • Accommodations for Development Plans

Pastor Bill always has his church and community at the center of his priorities

Pastor Bill, President and Senior Pastor of The Valley Community Church in Sacramento, California, always has his church and community at the center of his priorities. In years past, the church had found significant revenue from the multiple cellular towers on its property, selling off some, building new, and acquiring new carrier leases. In late March, Pastor Bill received a call from Isaac at Symphony Wireless about a decommissioned cellular site on a property owned by the church.

Although the tower was decommissioned, a telecom carrier had recently sent a proposal to the church to engage in a new cellular tower lease. Isaac advised Pastor Bill on the value of his tower, how that should be reflected in the monthly payments and gave him insight on the telecom carrier’s process when it comes to approving tower sales that involve their sites.

An Industry Expert for an Industry Opportunity

The Pastor informed Isaac that, due to a higher offer, the church had planned to re-commission the tower and transact with a different group of cellular tower lease buyers. Isaac mentioned that the contending offer was high, and to be prepared for the group to come back with a lower offer due to the rent reduction before the deal closed. Pastor Bill and Isaac left their conversation open-ended, with the possibility of reconnection in the future.

Isaac’s honesty and transparency shone through as the insights he shared played out as he said it would. The telecom carrier levied a 10% rent reduction, the contending offer came down to reflect the price, and Pastor Bill knew exactly who to call. Isaac explained to the Pastor that this reduction is often seen in our frequent transactions with this particular telecom carrier. This was already factored into the quote he had given Pastor Bill from Symphony.

Cellular carriers hold specific power over the sale of leases and towers, ranging from “Right of First Refusal” to “Preferred Vendors” and more. Symphony Wireless owns over 4,000 towers in the United States and has long-standing relationships with the cellular carrier companies. This industry knowledge benefits cellular site owners in the negotiation process.

Specifically, this meant a 10% rent reduction proposed by the telecom carrier upon sale and transfer of the tower.

Cellular Tower Sale Benefits All Parties Involved

Following the closing, Pastor Bill was thrilled to announce to his congregation that the church would be receiving almost $500,000 in funds from Symphony Wireless.

Thanks to the decision to sell the cellular tower lease, The Valley Community Church staff was able to complete a full renovation of the kitchen in their church hall where they hold community events and fundraisers. The Youth Group Leader was able to organize a series of day trips. Finally, the Director of Children’s Programs was able to purchase a small library of books for all to enjoy.

What can you do to learn where you stack up and if you are missing out on opportunities to protect or better grow your rent?

Partner with an expert. We at Symphony have been in the wireless industry for decades and are leading investors in cell site leases across the country. It is our business to know the value and risk profile of cell sites. We will assess your site for current risk and future potential value and come up with a plan that best suits your interests or needs. Our assessment should help provide you with a reliable view as to how your site fits in with the expected future of the cell site grid. And it just might be the opportunity you were looking for to capitalize your cell site rent stream.


The foregoing case study has been fictionalized in certain respects to protect the identities of the parties. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Symphony Wireless does not provide tax, accounting of estate planning advice. Interested parties are encouraged to consult your own legal and tax advisors.

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