Marpi hotel lease to expire in 9 days
The Department of Public Lands is expecting a resolution to Mariana Resort & Spa’s expiring lease within a year as they continue to discuss the parameters of a new lease agreement with sole bidder Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC.
In an interview with Saipan Tribune, DPL real estate division director Rachel Roque said DPL is preparing to issue another request for proposal, or RFP, for a “hotel golf resort operating agreement.”
“A new lease has not been awarded at this time, however, DPL…is preparing to announce an RFP by close of next week for a ‘hotel golf resort operating agreement’ to operate and manage, as well as maintain the entire facility,” she said, adding that the agreement was not for a lease.
“DPL expects the RFP process to be completed in [about] 90 days,” she said, adding that Kan Pacific Saipan Ltd., the company that owns Mariana Resort, may participate in the RFP for the agreement.
Mariana Resort’s 40-year lease on public land where the hotel sits ends on April 30, 2018. The lease is the maximum allowed for public land under the CNMI Constitution.
The maximum amount of years includes the 25-year initial lease agreement with the company, as well as the additional 15-year extension.
Roque explained that in 2015, an RFP was announced on the public land leased by Mariana Resort, since entertaining extensions were considered illegal due to the constitutional limit of a maximum of 40 years, inclusive of the extension. She said Kan Pacific was allowed to participate in the bidding process; however, only IPI responded to the RFP.
The hotel golf resort operating agreement, according to Roque, would have a one-year term, a period which she believes is sufficient for DPL to come up with a draft lease agreement with IPI for the Legislature’s blessing.
Roque added that land leases over five hectares requires the blessing of the Legislature before executing the lease agreement.
“DPL is confident that it will successfully negotiate a lease that continues to benefit the Northern Marianas dscent in the next year,” she said.
Roque told Saipan Tribune that DPL’s initial plan was to finalize terms of lease with IPI. With that yet to happen, she explained that entering a temporary one-year hotel golf resort operating agreement was the backup, while announcing an invitation to bid for maintenance and security services would be their second backup plan.
She added the maintenance and security services ITBs are “currently being announced” and, if contracted, would only be on a retainer basis, meaning the agreement between DPL and the contractor could be terminated anytime.
“DPL will ensure that operations and maintenance do not cease while negotiating a lease or conducting any processes to secure a most beneficial lease,” Roque said.