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Sonoma Valley Hospital expands, sells cell tower lease

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Sonoma Valley Hospital’s board of directors unanimously agreed to move forward with selling the lease it holds on an AT&T cellular antenna that tops the hospital, which was discussed at Thursday’s meeting of the Sonoma Valley Health Care District board. During that same evening, the board also voted to allow AT&T to put more equipment on the hospital’s roof, for an added monthly rental rate of $440.53.

The lease was sold for $230,000 to Lease Advisors Telecom Media, a national company that purchases leases for cellular equipment and billboards. Lease Advisors would buy the cellular antenna lease for one lump sum; and also agrees to take on all risk associated with the contract, which could include AT&T reducing payments or canceling the tower’s lease.

Since signing the lease with AT&T 20 years ago, the hospital received monthly rental payments that increased over time to the current rate of $1,688.14, with a 9 percent “escalation” boost scheduled for 2017. But even before that, the monthly rental rate will go up as soon as AT&T installs an additional 4-inches of equipment on the hospital’s roof, which the hospital board agreed to lease out at the rate of $440.53 a month.

Even after selling off its cellular lease contract, Sonoma Valley Hospital will continue to benefit should the contract produce additional revenue in the future. The agreement states that the hospital will retain 75 percent of future revenues, while 25 percent will go to Lease Advisors. The duration of the contract with Lease Advisors Telecom Media is 40 years, but hospital officials will have legal counsel review the agreement one more time before it is signed. Once signed, the hospital will receive its $230,000 payment in 60 days.