DCRM approves Alter City Group’s permit for Tinian


The major siting permit for a 150-hectare project on Tinian was approved by the Division of Coastal Resources Management five days after a public hearing was held and more than a week early before its deadline.

At a meeting Tuesday, the board approved the application of Alter City Group for its proposed $1.2-billion project in Puntan Diablo Cove, which will be called Plumeria Resort.

DCRM director and board chair Fran Castro thanked Alter City, which she said has worked with all agencies to provide all the information they needed to move forward with the process.

“Your coming to us and providing all the necessary information really made it an efficient process,” Castro said.

Ken Lin, Alter City’s managing director, expressed his thanks to the board.

“To us, this is the first step. Along the way, there are going to be a lot of difficulties, and we need each one of you to guide us and help us, step-by-step, to push forward,” Lin said.

The board unanimously approved the siting permit.

Department of Public Works’ Geralyn Dela Cruz noted Alter City’s proposals to make road improvements, which is favorable to their department. DPW also supports Alter City’s work on the current solid waste issue on Tinian.

Jonathan Arriola of the Division of Environmental Quality cited the efforts of Alter City’s consulting team in working with DEQ to address any issues that may have arisen from the applicant’s project.

Department of Commerce representative David Palacios emphasized the requirement of hiring a 30 percent local workforce as well as the importance of upward mobility toward mid- and supervisory level positions.

Also present at the meeting was Tinian Mayor Joey P. San Nicolas, who thanked the board for going to Tinian to hear the support of the island for the proposed resort.

DCRM held the public hearing last Thursday at the Tinian Elementary School were residents showed overwhelming support for the project.

Some even called to expedite the approval of the application. The board’s supposed deadline to act on the permit application was Aug. 8.

“We don’t usually have these kinds of hearings or if we do, not too many people show up. I was very impressed by the amount of people that did show up and did stand up and talked about the issue of this permit application,” said San Nicolas.

“For the purpose of this particular petition, or application, on behalf of the people of Tinian, we humbly request your support,” he added.

Alter City paid a non-refundable fee of over $1.2 million for the first phase of its project on May 5. Last June, the group filed its application for a casino license.

The project will be done in three phases and is expected to be completed after 12 years. It is expected to create over 5,000 rooms on Tinian.

Aside from the hotel, villas, corporate villas and service apartments will be built. Amenities will include an 18-hole golf course, casino, waterpark, museum, clinic, cafe, restaurant, and shops, among others.

Frauleine S. Villanueva-Dizon | Reporter
Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva was a broadcast news producer in the Philippines before moving to the CNMI to pursue becoming a print journalist. She is interested in weather and environmental reporting but is an all-around writer. She graduated cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Journalism and was a sportswriter in the student publication.

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