Case Study

Ligado Networks


Savills Negotiates Ligado Networks’ Lease Renewal with Generous Improvement Allowance


Ligado Networks (formerly LightSquared), the first wholesale-only integrated wireless broadband and satellite network provider in the United States, had occupied their space since 1993. Starting with a small presence in the building and ultimately occupying the entire building by 2010, Ligado Networks’ needs had changed significantly over fifteen years. In 2010, Ligado Networks determined the space as configured would limit its ability to reshape the company. They were poised to launch the next generation of technology yet hampered by the need to preserve the large network operations center (“NOC”) embedded in the premises until the newer systems were operational. This major upgrade would not occur until after Ligado Networks’ lease expiration, requiring development of a strategy to phase out of the old systems and radically alter the current space to accommodate the needs of the growing company. Further compounding the situation, Ligado Networks had an enormous satellite dish on the premises which would soon be obsolete but also needed to remain until after the lease expired.


Working closely with senior management, Savills helped guide Ligado Networks to define its needs, accommodate its ambitious hiring plan, and address the challenges posed by the satellite and old equipment in the NOC. In 2010 the economy and the commercial real estate market in Northern Virginia were impacted by the downsizing of tenants and increasing vacancy. Savills leveraged these conditions and Ligado Networks’ needs while maintaining its need to preserve the NOC and satellite confidential beyond the lease term.


After a thorough evaluation of a wide range of viable options in a broad geography (renewal, relocate, Class A, B and C buildings, lease and purchase), Ligado Networks renewed its lease. Savills negotiated a lease with a generous improvement allowance accommodating Ligado Networks’ new standards and plan for significant growth, below market rental rates and flexible lease provisions providing expansion rights in the adjacent building.