Governor says property appraisal has been done, govt only waiting for Hyatt’s official proposal
Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres has disclosed that the government is just awaiting Hyatt Regency Saipan’s official proposal for the next 40 years regarding its expiring public land lease.
Speaking at a radio press briefing last Tuesday, Torres said that it is his understanding based on the last information he received that the government appraisal on the property has already been done, but not the official proposal on how much Hyatt would be investing and how that investment would go through in the next 40 years.
Any land lease agreement, especially one governing the renewal of 40 years, needs to have an appraisal of the property in question, Torres said. Then there is an official proposal on what the investor will do and how much investment will be infused into the property.
“I’ve said in the beginning since Day 1 that I would like to see Hyatt get the extension,” said Torres, adding that, at the same time, he wants Hyatt to make the investment that is much needed here in the Commonwealth.
The governor pointed out that the Fiesta Resort and Spa Saipan made a proposal before COVID-19 happened and stuck to that investment. He said the CNMI looks forward to seeing that investment go through.
Hyatt’s 40-year public land lease will expire in December 2021. The land lease of Fiesta Resort & Spa, which is located adjacent to Hyatt, is supposed to expire in June 2021, but it just got a new 40-year lease.
The recent enactment of Public Law 20-84 increases the terms of public land leases of up to 40 years, plus an extension of 15 years, for a total of 55 years. It also authorizes certain public land leases to be amended and extend existing lease terms up to 55 years.
The law gives the Department of Public Lands the authority to negotiate new public land leases to certain existing lessees under new terms and considerations even without publishing a request for proposal.
Early this month, House Committee on Natural Resources vice chair Joel Castro Camacho (R-Saipan) disclosed that negotiation between DPL and Hyatt about the hotel’s expiring public land lease has been in the back burner due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The House Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate Resources Economic Development and Program held a joint public hearing last month to know the the status of the lease agreement negotiations.