Versacom boasts a seasoned group of site acquisition experts equipped with in-depth familiarity with local regulations in all the markets we operate. Our real estate division is spearheaded by a team of skilled attorneys capable of adeptly addressing the most intricate land use challenges that may arise during site development. Our regular responsibilities encompass all facets of tower development, encompassing lease agreements and modifications, easements, securing land use approvals, obtaining variances, handling FAA and FCC filings, and orchestrating NEPA screening reports, Environmental Assessments (EAs), and Phase I environmental assessments.
At Versacom, we are excited about every new start, and certainly we want to jump right into scrubbing rings and doing scips and design walks. But at Versacom, we are also aware of the need for accuracy in the products we deliver. An error early in the project can be multiplied many times over and cause needless time consuming re-works that ultimately impact launch dates. Every step we take is with the knowledge that we are doing our best to put the customer’s network on-air on-time
Site Audits:- Versacom has experienced, certified climbers who assist in site audits. We don’t just fill out forms. We photo document everything we see, including the tape at the antenna rad center and serial number labels on the antenna and TMA backs. Photos of cabinet interiors will also be provided as needed. The site sketches of the compound layout and tower profile will be prepared in AutoCad or some other drawing program, with enough detail to assist RF and A&E engineers as they begin their designs. This is more than the hand drawn sketches typical in the industry.
Leasing Audits:- Versacom will thoroughly review existing leases and support documents. Equipment rights detailed in current leases will be compared to site audit findings. Opportunities for equipment expansion as well as constraints will be identified. Pending expirations on tower and ground leases will be highlighted for potential action.
Zoning Audits:- Versacom does not rehash previous zoning audits. Jurisdictions are going through constant changes in regulations and personnel. We will assemble the most current ordinances and forms regulating the industry. Significant statements favoring or challenging the industry will be highlighted and reported. Prime contacts for regulatory questions will be identified in each jurisdiction. Opportunities for blanket zoning determinations will be identified, and blanket letters will be collected if possible.
GIS Mapping:- Versacom will collect existing tower location data, along with available rad center data from ATC, CCI, GTP, SBA, KGI and TowerCo. This will be compiled with the carrier/customer data on a spreadsheet and plotted on a map to assist RF engineers in a regional design based on internal mod and MLA collocation. RF design guidelines will be used to identify geographic clusters if needed. Avoiding raw land, new site builds, is important to keeping a project on schedule.
Site Candidate Review (SCIPs):- Versacom will prepare Site Candidate Information Packages (SCIPs) in the format preferred by the customer, as RF completes portions of the regional design. Heavy photo documentation, beyond what is actually attached to the finished SCIP, will prove to be helpful later when the Scope of Work process begins. Elevations will be determined by use of range finders accurate within 30 inches. Site sketches will be prepared using a computer assisted design program. Ownership by interested parties will be confirmed through county deed records as needed.
Leasing Applications:- Versacom will prepare applications based on the final RF design for each approved primary site. Differences in RF design documents and landlord data will be reconciled before an application is submitted. This is also another point where RF design is compared to FAA certifications for consistency. Equipment quantities, sizes and rad centers, as well as coax size and length, will be confirmed by at least 2 team members before each application is submitted.
Entry and Testing Agreements:- Versacom will secure entry and testing agreements from each non-MLA landlord. If the customer standard form does not include zoning and permitting authorization, a letter of authorization (LOA) will also be secured.
Site Design Walks:- Versacom will serve as the coordinator for a site visit by the RF engineer, Construction Manager, Utility coordinator, Operations rep, A&E tech, zoning specialist and property owner. Prior to the visit Versacom will have secured an entry and testing agreement, and if required, a certificate of insurance naming the owner as an additional insured. This is a working meeting and the number of participants will be limited to those people who can contribute to the design. All participants are urged to dress appropriately, because the landlord could be influenced positively or negatively on the basis of this first major introduction to the representatives of the Carrier/Customer. The visit will follow an agenda so that by the end of the visit, each party will have the data that is needed to complete the site design, or know what obstacles impact the design and construction. Issues will be identified and new sketches made as needed. Opportunities for future expansion will be identified. All participants will sign in and provide contact information, so a summary of the team’s findings can be communicated to each participant a few days following the visit.
Construction Drawings / Structural Reports:- Versacom is a proud partner of All-Pro Engineering. With headquarters less than 5 minutes from Versacom’s headquarters, All-Pro is a respected wireless site design firm licensed in 48 of the 50 states and several Canadian provinces. All-Pro can respond quickly to the civil and structural design needs of Versacom’s customers. From the design tech to the engineer to the coordinator at All-Pro to the A&E coordinator to the Site Acquisition Specialist at Versacom, each drawing is reviewed for accuracy by 5 people before it is submitted for general review and comment. Once again, Rad centers, coordinates, equipment quantities and sizes, site IDs and other key project attributes are checked against FAA certifications, leasing applications and RF designs to assure accuracy going forward.
Zoning and Permitting:- Versacom’s Site Acquisition team maintains memberships in the American Planning Association (APA) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). These professionals stay abreast of current laws and case law through AICP continuing education. The Senior Manager of Site Acquisition has argued hundreds of zoning cases in 24 states. This knowledge base and the AICP designation on a business card can generate a certain amount of respect when walking into a new jurisdiction for the first time. Versacom will always look first for a simple administrative zoning solution to avoid a lengthy public hearing process. A Versacom zoning specialist will always know whether jurisdictional staff is going “by the book” or “shooting from the hip”. When a process is determined, all forms and presentation materials will be prepared in-house, including Photo sims. Versacom will coordinate coverage maps with RF and any site plans requiring seals will be prepared by All-Pro Engineering. Unless instructed otherwise by the customer’s attorney, Versacom will attend and present at all scheduled hearings.
SOW and BOM:- Versacom will rely heavily on the construction drawings and on photos of each site to prepare Scope of Work (SOW) documents and accompanying Bill of Material (BOM) listings. Versacom’s Project Manager’s with construction experience on numerous wireless sites nationwide, will assist the Site Acquisition team in making sure every site is scoped accurately and all equipment is ordered for timely delivery to the construction sites.
Coordination of Services:- Versacom will begin ordering services for each site immediately following the Site Design Walk. As each report is received, Versacom will confirm that the base data is consistent with base data on all other project documents. It is important to reorder any report that includes base data errors in equipment, latitude and longitude, rad center, structure height, land area, structure type, etc, as soon as possible so that there are not additional errors multiplying thereafter.
Leasing:- Versacom will use the customer’s template and gently sell each landlord on the importance of the customer’s template. Options will be requested without option payment for as long as reasonably possible. Emphasis will be placed on negotiating the best deal for the long term. Anything unusual or particularly expensive will be brought to the customer for consideration before continuing further with the negotiation. To establish credibility and with the assumption that property owners might already know what the fair market rent should be, Versacom will seek deals that are fair to the customer and the Owners. SNDAs and other side documents will be filed as soon as possible. Versacom will never forget that slow leasing means late construction starts.
Notice to Proceed (NTP) and Construction Hand-off:- Versacom will be ready to submit each NTP package the same day that the last major document is completed for any particular site. As each NTP is issued, Versacom will use the customer’s hand-off check list to close out the site acquisition project. This task should also move quickly, since it is Versacom’s policy to store digital documents in the order of the customer check list with file names meeting the customer’s naming convention as appropriate. It is Versacom’s desire to provide the highest quality site acquisition services to our wireless industry customers. Versacom is also prepared to provide time sensitive construction services as well, taking the site acquisition hand off and bringing sites on-line. We look forward to serving you with Site Acquisition, Zoning, Civil Construction and EF&I services as needed.