Best Sunshine International Ltd. is on the cusp of securing a lease of fresh land after officials in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands – a Pacific territory of the United States – finally issued an Intent to Award notice.
The Saipan Tribune however pointed out that the Department of Public Lands (DPL) has set some conditions for the issuance of the notice to Best Sunshine, a unit of HongKong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd. which operates a temporary casino in Saipan.
Citing an unnamed source, the DPL asked Best Sunshine to include items like authorization for DPL to obtain bank or financial information from the casino to vet project financing and a timetable for the project, among others.
The DPL, for its part, did not deny nor confirm the information of the unnamed source.
“We issued an Intent to Award,” DPL secretary Marianne Teregeyo said in an e-mailed statement to the news website, “they were the only company that submitted a proposal, despite DPL’s efforts (before I came in [into office in February]) to send the RFP package to developers off-island. However, I am uncomfortable to release the letter as there are items that we will need to negotiate with. A meeting will be set with Imperial Pacific sometime in the next two weeks.”
In November, Best Sunshine has expressed its intent to bid for 160 hectares (395.4 acres) of public land – including an area currently within the boundary of an existing resort and spa called the Mariana Resort and Spa, which is approximately 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) from the its temporary casino.
Imperial Pacific, which runs the temporary casino, Best Sunshine Live, at the T Galleria, has pledged to spend as much as US$7.1 billion on a permanent casino resort on Saipan. If awarded to the casino, DPL would complete a competitive bid process that began last October.