The Commonwealth Zoning Board has approved two hotel projects on Saipan during its board meeting at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe last Thursday.
Haohe, LLC’s application is to rezone from village commercial to tourist resort nine lots in San Jose/Oleai. The company wants to build a hotel condominium development in the area.
Haohe, LLC sought rezoning of the area because it intends to construct the hotel condominium over the height limit of 58 feet within the village commercial zoning district.
The development is in partnership with the family who owns the land that is headed by businessman David Sablan.
According to Sablan, with the boom of tourism in the CNMI, booking for hotel accommodation on Saipan is getting harder.
“The other day, I tried to ask for a room in one of the hotels. I couldn’t get one because all the hotels are full. This definitely tells me that the growth of tourism is robust in this area,” he said.
“So we need an area where we can develop a resort where the people of the CNMI, particularly of Saipan, can enjoy this new addition that is coming up,” Sablan added.
Board member Joe Ayuyu Jr. reminded the developer to make sure that they provide ample parking spaces for the guests and employees of the hotel development as parking is a growing problem on Saipan.
The second project is a conditional use application made by Sheng Yuan International, Inc. for the reconstruction, renovation, and operations of the mothballed Airport Castle Hotel.
The corporation proposed to occupy an existing seven-storey structure to operate the Airport Castle Hotel. It will have 73 rooms and 154 parking spaces. This property is located at Airport Road.
Richard Shen Yuan, owner of Shen Yuan International Inc., has moved his entire family to Saipan from New York.
According to Yuan, he and his family have built their lives here over the years and he owns other properties in Mt. Tapochao that he rents out.
“We plan to renovate this building in half a year and we hope to open half a year later. Initially, we are investing between $5 million and $6 million. In the future, when we are ready to construct 300 additional hotel and apartment rooms, we are looking at $20 million more investment,” he said.
“We are happy to serve the CNMI people as we are adding more rooms to accommodate tourists and the location is ideal as it is close to the airport. We also plan to hire more than 150 local people. In that way we can also help in creating jobs for the people and contribute to the economy of Saipan,” he added.
The Airport Castle Hotel has been abandoned for two decades now and has experienced failed attempts of three companies to revive the hotel.
A CNMI resident said, “Fixing up old property is better than having new ones built. If only there is a guaranteed follow through… We (pertaining to CNMI government) should require bonds.”