This article has been updated.
A local source reports that Best Sunshine International, owned by Imperial-Pacific, has been eyeing an idle piece of property owned by the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. (NMHC) located in the heart of the busy Garapan district.
Best Sunshine is in the process of completing the construction phase of the Grand Mariana Casino Resort, a $550 million casino-resort project in Garapan.
Representatives from the company have made inquiries on at least two occasions about the property. According to GGRAsia, local housing officials declined to comment. The five-hectare property owned by NMHC, Garapan Annex, is located next to the Best Sunshine Live ‘temporary casino’ on the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, Saipan. NMHC has reportedly been looking to sell the property for quite some time. It reviewed the plan to issue a ‘Request for Proposal’ last year. To facilitate the request, the services of Guam-based Cornerstone Valuation Guam were sought by the public housing agency to provide advice concerning the best use of the idle property. The NMHC has received letters of interest from both investors and local businesses as well as firms in the People’s Republic of China since the intent to issue a Request for Proposal was announced. Earlier estimates indicate that the NMHC property could be worth at least$8 million.
Best Sunshine recently purchased Flame Tree Terrace and other properties in Saipan. The company had initially planned a single integrated casino resort to follow the temporary casino on Beach Road, but land availability has proved to be a challenge. In addition to Best Sunshine Live the company is developing the Grand Mariana Resort and is awaiting the rfp process to complete in hopes of taking over the lease of the Marina Resort and Spa which was set to expire soon. Best Sunshine is looking at 160 hectares (about 400 acres) of public land in Marpi, part of which is included in that lease. In total Best Sunshine expects to invest over $7 billion in the area and offer as many as 20 hotels, an integrated casino resort, and a kilometer-long shopping strip. Other plans mention include the world’s largest water park.
In January, the Commonwealth Casino Commission announced that Best Sunshine was financially capable to complete the construction phase of the Grand Mariana Casino Resort. The casino there is slated to open in December 2016 with rooms opening Q1 or Q2 2017.
Updated 4-1-2016 to correct cost of Grand Mariana Resort, include request for proposal process re: Mariana Resort and Spa lease, opening date of Mariana Casino.