Department of Public Lands Secretary Pete A. Tenorio went to Hong Kong to meet with three companies that formed joint venture Honest Profit International Ltd., check their references and finances, and visit their projects and facilities, as part of DPL’s ongoing evaluation to determine whether Honest Profit or South Korean-based E Land should be allowed to lease a lot in San Antonio to build a new hotel with at least 200 rooms.
Tenorio is expected to announce DPL’s decision this week.
The lot for lease is 40,827 square meters of public land in San Antonio.
This comes at a time when the CNMI lacks available hotel rooms to accommodate a growing number of visitors to the islands.
The DPL secretary reported to Gov. Eloy S. Inos on the progress of the San Antonio land lease request for proposal during a Cabinet meeting on Capital Hill from 9am to past 12 noon yesterday.
The governor separately confirmed DPL’s fact-finding visit to Hong Kong and the ongoing evaluation of the proposals submitted.
Tenorio said they had a “pretty good discussion. And it turned out that we are satisfied. They provided us the information that we needed. So now, we are in the process of reviewing our notes and recorded discussions and eventually come up with something that I would issue [later].”
Tenorio said, however, that being satisfied with the results of meetings and personal visit to the investor groups’ facilities does not mean that Honest Profit will get the lease to the San Antonio lot.
E Land, through Micronesia Resort Inc., meanwhile, is also hopeful that it will be able to lease the San Antonio lot to build a new hotel.
The South Korean investment giant is about to announce the reopening of the former The Palms Resort under either the global hotel brand Sheraton or Hilton. E Land is also eyeing a global hotel brand for Coral Ocean Point, which is undergoing renovation and expansion. It also owns Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio.
The other three investor groups that didn’t make it to DPL’s short list for the San Antonio lot were 1) KSA Corp., 2) INNOASSET, and 3) Future Ent. Inc. & Reading Investment & Securities and Korea Asset Investment Corp.
DPL had already earlier picked Tan Holdings over E Land’s Micronesia Resort Inc. for a long-term lease of almost 10 hectares of public lands in Marpi. Tan Holdings proposes to build an over $133 million, 455-room high-end hotel resort.