Beyond collecting monthly maintenance payments, co-ops and condos are always searching for creative methods of generating discretionary income. Renting out excess parking areas and installing storage lockers for rental are two ways to boost the reserve fund, but the proliferation of cell phones, broadband, paging, wireless web, and related technologies makes leasing rooftop space for antenna installation another highly profitable option.
It’s almost impossible to walk a New York City block without passing someone busily chatting away on a cellular phone. By this time next year, wireless application users are expected to reach one billion, and that number will almost double by 2004, according to Cahners In-Stat Group, a digital communications market research firm based in Newton, Massachusetts. The cell-tech explosion has created a tremendous demand for transmission sites, and some companies are willing to pay your building for the space.
Why Your Rooftop?
Wireless technology providers require towers and other elevated spaces to install the apparatus needed to serve their subscriber loads. Although independent structures have been built to house the necessary transmission equipment, many high-traffic areas simply do not have sufficient unoccupied land to build on. In addition, zoning laws restrict the number of traditional signal towers that can be built in a given area. New York City has little (if any) land available for tower construction, so installing mini-towers and inconspicuous transmission equipment atop existing buildings is an increasingly popular alternative.
When a board becomes interested in leasing their roof for possible antenna installation, it’s not enough to simply contact providers individually. It’s not as easy as calling up a cell phone company and saying, "I have a roof for rent…are you interested?"