$75M hotel set to start construction
The $75-million, 438-room, hotel that Globe International Group plans to build south of the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School would now proceed, after the Commonwealth zoning board approved its parking lot plans.
The plan has been on hold at Commonwealth Zoning since December due to parking lot issues. The zoning board finally approved the variance of 75 percent of the required parking space so the developer can start construction.
The board initially approved a parking lot with 944 slots.
“This was the zoning staff calculations based on the amount of activity that will be going on at this facility,” said Zoning administrator Therese Ogumoro.
Global International asked for about a 75 percent of the 944, stating that most of their transportation will be contracted to Saipan Travel, Inc. The board did approve a 50-percent difference of 472 slots.
The hotel will be complete with pools, restaurants, a small shopping center, a larger shopping center, and staff housing units.
Christopher Fryling, the president of N15 Architecture Co. Inc., shared for comparison the parking spaces at the Marianas Business Plaza and the Joeten Susupe parking area.
“The Marianas Business Plaza, counting the front yard under the solar panels, and the back parking, has a total of 225 spots. The Joeten Susupe complex, including the insurance company and the other building adjacent to Joeten along Beach Road, has 115 spots. So together that is 380 spots,” said Fryling. “That is a significantly more building space than Global International’s.”
Tom Liu, the contact person for Globe International Group, said, “Since the first conditional zoning permit has been given to us last December, we have been looking for additional private land in the San Roque area near our property. So far we have some inquiries, but none finalized yet. Because of the parking issue, we have already eliminated a small shopping mall to be used for the backhouse, generator and other mechanical uses. Another alternative to reduce the number of parking space needed is to eliminate our bigger shopping mall and the ballroom space, but we want to divert from that because the main purpose of this project is to attract tourists, and we feel those aspects of the hotel is the bigger seller.”
When chair Diego Blanco suggested eliminating a portion of at least the shopping center, zoning vice chair Bruce Bateman said, “If we ask them to ax off whatever number from their project it might make the project nonviable.”