The CNMI government is still working on securing a construction manager to jointly oversee Best Sunshine International Ltd.’s ambitious casino project, two months after a bid for the job closed.
Hiring this construction manager—as mandated in the 2014 agreement between the CNMI government and the casino that granted it its exclusive gaming license—appears to have fallen off the radar lately. The manager would add another layer of oversight to the sprawling casino project on top of the Coastal Resources Management board, a regulatory body made up different environmental, zoning, utility, and other local agencies.
According to a senior official close to the issue, the administration of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres is looking to “jumpstart” the review process soon.
Saipan Tribune revealed last month that a bid closed in November for an architectural or engineering firm to serve as the Commonwealth’s representative on the “Development Plan Advisory Committee,” a working group made up of the engineering firm hired by the casino and a firm with integrated resort experience to represent the CNMI.
Only one firm submitted a bid, Saipan Tribune learned.
If selected, the firm would consult the CNMI governor and help steer the ambitious casino project, monitor the casino’s development, and track how it meets project implementation schedules.
Among many others, Best Sunshine must meet requirements inclusive of 2,000 hotel guest rooms; 17,000 square meters of total gaming floor area; 13,532 square meters of food and beverage outlets; 15,000 square meters of retail space; a 600-seat theatre; 9,094 square meters of meeting space, including a ballroom; 200 villas; and a $100-million themed entertainment facility.
According to its exclusive casino licensing agreement, Best Sunshine must complete “Phase 1” of its casino project within 36 months of land acquisition..
DPAC is set have a three-member committee assigned to review the proposal: a licensed engineer from the Bureau of Environmental and Costal Quality, an engineer from Public Works or the Capital Improvement Office, and an engineer of the casino. DPAC was established to facilitate communication between the CNMI and the licensee, implement license requirements, and implement development schedule.
The committee is responsible for reviewing and advising on the design of the initial gaming facility and the integrated resort.
The CNMI’s representative on the committee will report directly to the CNMI governor.