The Commonwealth Zoning Board voted last Dec. 1 to approve—with several conditions—the application of an international group of investors to build a $75-million, nine-story, 438-room hotel complete with pools, restaurants, shops, and staff housing units in San Roque.
Within 60 days, the applicant is required to provide a revised parking layout plan by a qualified engineer.
Globe International Group, which is based in Hong Kong, plans to build a hotel south of the Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School. The hotel will have access to the lagoon on the west.
Set for completion in two years, the hotel was planned due to the recent spike in tourism numbers in the CNMI, explained Tom Liu, the contact person for Globe International Group and former Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino general manager.
Michael Kwan, former chairman of the Hong Kong Entertainment board that owned the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, is the property owner but was not present at the hearing.
Among other conditions, Zoning wants the applicant to ensure that the construction does not generate an unreasonable level of noise, odor, light, or dust that would affect nearby neighborhoods and the public. Construction activities are limited from 7:30am to 5:30pm, Monday through Saturday.
Zoning board vice chair Bruce Bateman shared at the meeting the demand for hotel rooms, now that the current hotels are constantly full.
“Hotel developments are vital in further improving the economy,” said Bateman.
During the public comment period, Saipan Chamber of Commerce board member Alex Sablan said he supports the project in order to fill in gaps of the hotel room shortage.
“I think this is one of nine or so projects in the pipeline. We do have a problem with rooms and we have been calling for an expansion in the number of rooms in the CNMI and so I definitely support this project and hope that it does go forward for this group,” he said.
“They [Globe International Group] operate an airline as well. It’s not the same company, but their background has the ability to fill these rooms. We’re not talking about an organization that just wants to build rooms for the sake of building rooms,” added Sablan.
After further discussion and deliberation, the Zoning board unanimously voted to approve the application.