The long-abandoned castle-shaped hotel across the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport was sold for $820,000 during a public auction yesterday.
Tim Goodwin, of Pacific Rim International, a company that handled the auction, told Saipan Tribune that there were 16 people and multiple bidders at the auction held at attorney Joshua Berger’s office.
Goodwin said a “Chinese gentleman” from the U.S. mainland, who is interested in investing in the CNMI, won the bidding in his personal capacity.
Goodwin said the second highest bidder was another Chinese businessman, and the third highest was Dr. Gene Eagle-Oden.
The auctioner said the bidding started at $500,000 and increased at a minimum of $10,000.
He said the next step is for Berger to submit before Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho for approval of the sale.
Berger is counsel for Seong Jeo Cho, who obtained a default judgment against defendants Hae Hyun Park, Han Sang Eok, Moon Yoo Suk, An Jong Ho, and Philip S. Berg Co. Ltd.
Berger moved for the judicial auction of the Hotel Palace Building, a seven-story building with a rooftop pool and 70 rooms.
Last May, Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman issued a judgment in favor of attorney Michael Dotts’ client, Dae Dong Corp., against the same defendants in the total amount of $93,500.
Wiseman said Dae Dong Corp. and defendants entered into a contract on April 1, 2007, to coordinate maintenance of the Hotel Palace Building project.
In September 2011, the property was assigned to Philip S. Berg Co. Ltd., a related company to the other defendants.
The defendants, however, failed to pay Dae Dong Corp.
Dotts told Saipan Tribune yesterday that the $820,000 winning bid is sufficient to take care of the judgments.
“So my client is happy. Now we can all hope that the hotel will finally be finished,” Dotts said.
In March 2013, PDI Capital Group Korea held a groundbreaking ceremony for the completion of the hotel.