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Saturday, April 19, 2014

House panel asks DPL update on land leases with investors

House Committee on Natural Resources chair Antonio Benavente (Ind-Saipan) asked Department of Public Lands Secretary Pete A. Tenorio yesterday for an update on the status of its public land lease agreements with investors, including South Korean-based property giant E Land’s Micronesia Resort Inc.

Benavente said there have been concerns raised about MRI’s acquisition of Coral Ocean Point (Suwaso Corp), as well as a pending decision to lease a San Antonio lot either to MRI or another investor, referring to Hong Kong-based Honest Profit.

The House committee is also inquiring about DPL’s recent decision to enter into a lease agreement related to a Marpi lot. The panel is referring to Tan Holdings.

Benavente seeks a meeting with the DPL secretary and his staff on Tuesday, March 4, at 9:30am in the House chamber on Capital Hill “to discuss the land leases and agreement that you have entered into.”

“Additionally, we are informed that [DPL] has leased out or is in the process of leasing out a total of 139,832 square meters of public lands on the island of Saipan, specifically in the Marpi and San Antonio area,” the committee said.

Two weeks ago, E Land/MRI officials led by chief executive officer and president Seong Min Kang met behind closed doors with Gov. Eloy S. Inos about their ongoing renovation of Coral Ocean Point and plans for reopening the former Palms Resort Saipan. But the company provided scant details about these plans.

Some elected officials have expressed doubts about E Land’s ability to move forward with what the investor group earlier claimed is an initial $4 million renovation of Coral Ocean Point as part of an estimated $40 million, multi-year investment plan.

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