DPL in talks with Hyatt, IPI


Public Lands Secretary Marianne Teregeyo said her department is in talks with the management of the Hyatt Regency Saipan and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI]) LLC about their respective investments on Saipan.

Hyatt is among the local hotels that have expiring land leases, which is set to end in December 2021. Hyatt general manager Nick Nishikawa has conveyed their company’s intention to continue operating on the island.

Teregeyo said she could not give any update yet on Hyatt’s status, but they have been meeting with the hotel’s management led by Nishikawa. Their last meeting was three months ago.

“We did inform him [Nishikawa], because at that time [Senate Bill] 20-35 hasn’t passed yet. We told him that we would still hold a [request for proposal],” Teregeyo told Saipan Tribune yesterday.

S.B. 20-35, introduced by Senate President Arnold I. Palacios (R-Saipan), would amend the current law to increase the term of public land leases up to 40 years plus an extension of up to over 35 years—for a total of 75 years.

S.B. 20-35 is currently awaiting action at the Senate committee after passing the House with amendments. The bill is with the Senate Committee on Resources, Economic Development, and Programs chaired by Sen. Francisco M. Borja (R-Tinian).

Teregeyo said that they informed Hyatt officials that they still have time to prepare, that DPL would still issue an RFP. “Hyatt, if they are to bid, would be able to prepare and put in the new investments that they want to. The Hyatt flag itself has committed to continue [operating] here but they still have to bid, though.”

Teregeyo said that they had already issued IPI a notice of intent to award the Mariana Resort & Spa lot and other properties leased by Kan Pacific.

“There’s one thing that we need to clear: the properties were bid out in 2014, and were bid out for the whole year,” she said. “In 2016, when the bid ended, we only had IPI that submitted a bid. No one else did, not even Kan Pacific. So we are negotiating with them [IPI] and I’ve given them a notice of intent to award, but we have not awarded them [the property] because there are still a couple of things that they need to [fulfill].”

However, DPL won’t be the agency that would sign the lease agreement once the deal is sealed. “It will be the Legislature, because that’s a big property. Anything over 50,000 square meters has to go through the Legislature,” said Teregeyo.

She said DPL has yet to forward any document to the Legislature since they are still working with IPI on the some of the issues that they have concerns with. “They’ve [IPI] been given a notice of intent to award, so we just need some documents to be [fulfilled] then we’ll submit it to the Legislature.”

Teregeyo added the property leased by Kan Pacific is the only public land where a hotel is being operated while others that are being developed are on private land. “The new hotels that are coming up are being built on private land. We don’t interfere with private land but that’s great that they’re checking private land properties.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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