Cell phone towers on the roof of Faulkner Tower, with contracts that extend at least until 2020, are the reason the building is no longer under contract. That’s the word from Grant Guest, the developer who had the contract on the 1967 building.

“It basically encumbers the property,” Guest says of the cell phone towers. “You can’t get rid of them if they have a lease, hence you can’t tear the building down.”

Guest of Perry Guest Company specializes in multi-family redevelopment and focuses on “mismanaged properties in good locations,” he says. Perry Guest recently purchased and overhauled Lakewood Manor, next door to Faulkner Tower, and also owns several other apartment buildings nearby on Live Oak, Gaston and Fitzhugh.

Guest told neighbors his plan was to tear down the tower and construct apartments on top of retail, and also build a low-rise complex on the parking lot on Paulus behind the tower. He also considered converting the tower to apartments but it would cost “a lot of money,” he says, “and we couldn’t make the numbers work keeping the building.”

Redeveloping the tower rather than tearing it down entices Guest because the property’s current zoning means “you can’t build seven stories back — that’s why there’s some value to that,” he says.

As of now, Guest isn’t purchasing and redeveloping Faulkner Tower, but “we’re not quite done yet with the building,” he says. “We’re still working on it.”

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