Guam – More people are beginning to question Govguam’s lease and now potential purchase of Coretech property on Tiyan. Former Speaker Joe T. San Agustin and Realtor Nick Captain have now joined developer Al Ysrael in qestioning this deal. Meanwhile Senator Ben Pangelinan is calling it a “behind-closed-door deal between Governor Edward Calvo and Core Tech international corporation.”
The property in Tiyan that the Governor is considering purchasing from Coretech international used to belong to the government of Guam. In an email Former Speaker Joe T. San Agustin points out that the property was the site of old military barracks but when the Naval Air Station was closed the Navy returned the property to GovGuam. GovGuam would then later give the property to it’s original landowners who recently sold the land to Coretech.
Coretech bought the property for $11 million dollars and now it appears that GovGuam may end up buying the property for over $300 million dollars. Senator Ben Pangelinan says that the lease has been ammended to now include additional facilities. “Now this whole deal is going to include new offices for DOE central staff. New warehouses where DOE has existing warehouses and then the amount jumps from $125 million to $310 million. So we’re adding an additional $175 million dollars in terms of the cost of this lease and purchase without any kind of scrutiny any kind of review by the public or the legislature for that matter and I’m just concerned thats it’s going to be the people of Guam who will end up paying for this,” said Senator Pangelinan. Tthe senator points out that no other local businesses have been given the opportunity to compete for the contract to build GovGuam a new school. “We’re getting a one way deal here and it’s a sweatheart deal and I think something is amiss here,” said Senator Pangelinan.
The Senator isn’t the only one who thinks something may be wrong with this deal. Developer Al Ysrael has been questioning the deal as has former Speaker Joe T. San Agustin who wrote in an email that “GovGuam has to pay millions to get back a property that it once got for free.” Alsoo Realtor Nick Captain is beginning to question the property’s appraisal. Captain says that through a sunshine request he was able to see both the original appraisal done for Coretech and the appraisal that GovGuam is relying on. Both appraisals were almost identical which has lead Captain to believe that the government is essentially relying on the same appraisal that was done for the property owner. “As an appraiser I don’t understand why the government would accept an appraisal report that was completed for a property owner and that included a number of very unique assumptions and then was subsequently redirected if you will to the government,” said captain adding, “Normally particularly when you have such a high dollar amount that’s on the table you know, I would expect to see the government hire a different appraisal company or perhaps hire a third party appraisal company to do an independent review.”
Captain is also questioning the cost that GovGuam will be spending on this property if it buys it. “There are definitely qeustions in my mind that haven’t been answered and I don’t think that the government has done a very good job of communicating to the public why it is willing to pay such a very high price for a property that was purchased relatively recently at a much much lower price,” said Captain.
The administration has been contending that this is the cheapest possible route because the lease requires them to either purchase the property or lease it for ten more years without owning the property. Senator pangelinan says that the original lease never locked GovGuam into this deal and that this “no termination” clause of the lease was an amendment that was later made by Governor Calvo. “They’re only locked in Clynt because the Governor decided to take out the early termination clause. This is all planned this is all planned to lock in the government into buying that facility because the Governor eliminated and deleted the right to early termination by the Government of Guam. Now why would he do that? Unless he had a plan to line the pockets in a sweetheart deal of one company at the expense of all the other companies on Guam,” said Pangelinan. According to news files, Senator Pangelinan cried afoul back in January of 2012 when he discovered the that right of termination which existed in the original lease agreement was later removed.
Speaker Judi Won Pat has written a letter to Governor Calvo in which she highly reccomends “that we proceed with caution and explore all options available to us before hastily signing such a large purchasing agreement. Governor’s Spokesman Phil Leon Guerrero tells PNC that no action on the lease was taken today as it is still under review. However, he did provide a written statement saying in part “Neither Eddie Calvo nor Ray Tenorio had anything to do with the decision to take that property from GEDA after the return of NAS and place it in the Ancestral Lands bank. They were not involved in the sale of that property from the Ancestral land holders to the current owner. They did not negotiate the lease from Coretech”