The Saipan Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday welcomed Pacific Rim, a construction and real estate development company, as the latest addition to its membership.
Originally based in Guam, Pacific Rim came to the CNMI in 2018 to help in the construction efforts of Imperial Pacific International LLC in Garapan. Since then, Pacific Rim has taken on various projects and business opportunities that made the company decide to establish an office here as well.
According to Pacific Rim president Keith J. Stewart, the three years he has spent on island gave him a different perspective. “Moving and living here for the past couple of years pushed me to get started and be more involved in the community. …We are working on several projects and continuously trying to find ways on how we can have a greater and positive impact on the CNMI,” he said.
He concedes that his company has more projects in Guam than in the CNMI—”by a large margin,” according to him—such as projects for the U.S. military “but I just fell in love with the island. I would go back and forth and end up staying, so I’m working up a plan to…call Saipan my home.”
Pacific Rim is currently finishing its work on the planned casino on Tinian, the ongoing roofing project for Joeten Enterprises, and they are about to start on Isa Villas Phase II on Capital Hill and 56 more affordable housing units.
Stewart said their Guam office is running itself and that they have a good team there so it allowed him to look for other business options, one of which is co-founding Marianas Pacific Airline that will provide service for both passengers and goods in the CNMI.
Announced last month, Marianas Pacific Airline will be a CNMI-based airline that would initially target travelers from Japan, Korea, Australia, and the Philippines. The initial plan was for a freight aircraft, when aviation experts on Stewart’s team looked at the numbers and the global environment and thought that it would be more viable to expand services and build a full passenger and freight service for the CNMI.
Stewart said his team found that transportation was one of the hurdles that needed to get solved for the CNMI economy to move forward. As a result, Stewart and his partners stepped into that area. “We spent close to a year doing the research and putting together the plans for Marianas Pacific Airlines to provide stability, and affordability on air service to the Commonwealth that would be operated by seasoned airline professionals with a specific interest in supporting the needs of the CNMI,” he said.
SCC president Joe Guerrero said he is looking forward to working with Pacific Rim. “It is always refreshing news to hear people investing and committed in developing our islands and economy. We need long-term investors on island and Pacific Rim is starting that journey. It appears that Pacific Rim has found the CNMI as its new home. Keith is looking forward to investing and reinvesting in the CNMI as he feels a part of the community,” he said.