Department of Public Lands Secretary Pete A. Tenorio told Saipan Tribune yesterday that a short list of investors for public land leases in Marpi and San Antonio could be out as early as tomorrow, another step toward building two or three new hotels with at least 200 rooms each.
Tenorio said there would be two investors on the short list for each of the lots on Marpi and San Antonio.
“This project is moving forward… The letter of notice for those who are on the short list would be issued either on Friday or early next week,” Tenorio said.
Leasing public lands for new hotel development comes at an opportune time because the currently available hotel rooms are not enough to accommodate an increasing number of tourists to the CNMI.
Tenorio serves on an ad-hoc five-member committee that has been reviewing the proposals submitted in response to DPL’s first-of-its-kind request for proposal in May.
The seven responding investors were KSA Corp.; Micronesia Resort Inc.; INNOASSET; Future Enterprises Inc. & Reading Investment & Securities and Korea Asset Investment Corp.; Delta America Inc. & Joong Ang Corp.; Honest Profit International Ltd.; and Tan Holdings Corp.
The review committee includes representatives from DPL, Zoning Office, departments of Public Works and Commerce, and the Marianas Visitors Authority.
“The reason why it’s taking so long to choose among the investors is they offered very competitive proposals,” Tenorio added.
After the short list notifications are sent, the review committee would then interview each of the investors on that list.
Tenorio said the selected investors for each of the public lands would then negotiate with DPL on the land lease.
Any lease of public land consisting of more than 5 hectares requires the Legislature’s approval.
The three public lands in the RFP total 139,832 square meters—about 49,500 square meters in Marpi; some 49,505 square meters also in Marpi; and some 40,827 square meters in San Antonio.
The first two lots in Marpi are contiguous to each other. Flame Sako earlier leased these areas for a planned multi-million dollar hotel but later abandoned the project.
The San Antonio lot was earlier leased to KSA Corp. for a planned hotel with villas and condotels. The project also didn’t materialize, resulting in DPL terminating the lease with KSA Corp. in June 2008.