THE Department of Public Lands said the public land leased by Kan Pacific Ltd., which is doing business as Mariana Resort & Spa, will be appraised based on its present condition.
According to DPL Secretary Marianne Concepcion Teregeyo, DPL has issued a notice of intent to award a new lease agreement to Imperial Pacific International/Best Sunshine International, the only investor that responded to a request for proposals for the lease of the Marpi public land.
In Dec. 2015, it was announced that Kan Pacific was assigning its remaining lease to Best Sunshine, but would continue to operate Mariana Resort & Spa for at least a year. Kan Pacific’s lease ends in 2018.
“As required by law,” Teregeyo said in an interview, “the value of the public land up for a lease is appraised to include improvements that will revert back to the commonwealth upon the expiration of the lease agreement with the current lease holder,”
She said she wants to make it clear to everyone once again, that DPL issued an RFP on Nov. 20, 2015. The RFP, she added, was for all interested investors or developers, but only Imperial Pacific/Best Sunshine submitted its proposal before the deadline.
Senate Vice President Arnold I. Palacios, who chairs the Senate Committee on Resources, Economic Development and Programs, noted that under the CNMI Constitution, DPL “may not transfer an interest in more than five hectares of public land for use for commercial purposes without the approval of the Legislature in a joint session.”
Issuing RFPs and selecting from proposals based on the criteria is DPL’s responsibility, he said, but once the lease agreement is finalized, the department has to submit it to the Legislature for approval.
Palacios believes that DPL was right to go through the RFP process because Kan Pacific’s 40-year lease is up.
Rep. Anthony T. Benavente expects that the lease agreement between DPL and Imperial Pacific/Best Sunshine will be contentious once it is submitted to the Legislature.
He said the appraisal of the Kan Pacific property must reflect the infrastructure and other developments constructed by the company on the property.
Moreover, people of Northern Marianas Descent must benefit from the lease agreement which should not be “underpriced,” Benavente said.
Source: Marianas Variety