Base station cooperation (BSC) has recently arisen as a promising way to increase the capacity of a wireless network. Implementing BSC adds a new design dimension to the classical wireless network design problem: how to define the subset of base stations (clusters) that coordinate to serve a user. Though the problem of forming clusters has been extensively discussed from a technical point of view, there is still a lack of effective optimization models for its representation and algorithms for its solution. In this work, we make a further step towards filling such gap: 1) we generalize the classical network design problem by adding cooperation as an additional decision dimension; 2) we develop a strong formulation for the resulting problem; 3) we define a new hybrid solution algorithm that combines exact large neighborhood search and ant colony optimization. Finally, we assess the performance of our new model and algorithm on a set of realistic instances of a WiMAX network.