Support B.I.G. Developments on Tinian
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PETITION FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE EB-5 PROJECT:
TINIAN OCEAN VIEW RESORT AND CASINO
Bridge Investment Group, LLC (BIG) has leased a portion of the Tinian Harbor from the Commonwealth Ports Authority (CPA) to construct the Tinian Ocean View Resort and Casino (the “Project”). The Project will be situated at the former locations of the Tinian Stevedore, Customs, Immigration and Quarantine buildings, CPA warehouse and Brown Tree Snake Office.
After two years of planning and development, BIG encountered a regulatory barrier in that certain Commonwealth regulatory agencies determined that BIG’s proposed activities at the Tinian Harbor did not meet the technical definition of “port-related activities.”
Whereas, this petition acknowledges that the Project is being constructed in and around “land and water areas of particular concern surrounding the commercial ports of the Northern Mariana Islands which consists of projects, industrial uses, and all related activities” as defined in the Coastal Resources Management regulations NMIAC § 15-10-340(a). This petition further acknowledges that the Project is in the “highest” use category because it involves “a water-dependent port and industrial activities and uses located on the APC shoreline”, NMIAC § 15-10-340(c)(1);
Whereas, the Project will “enhance and protect the Commonwealth’s inherent natural beauty and natural resources” and will assist Tinian in “meeting the long-term economic and social expectations of the Commonwealth”, NMIAC § 15-30-340(b)(1)-(2);
Whereas, BIG has completed infrastructure developments at the Tinian Harbor, NMIAC § 15-10-340(b)(5);
Whereas, the law is not ambiguous: the Tinian Ocean View Resort and Casino is a “project” and that the ferry is undeniably a port-related activity;
Whereas, BIG’s first phase of construction is a ferry terminal that will provide roll-on/roll-off of vehicle services for the benefit of every resident of Tinian that will address the lack of consistent flights to Tinian and will assist BIG with meeting the needs of BIG’s customers;
Whereas, the Tinian Ocean View Resort and Casino is itself a port-related project in part because it will serve as a hotel accommodation for passengers who arrive on Tinian via the ferry;
Whereas, the people of Tinian support the Project at its current location on the leased portion of Tinian Harbor across Taga House Park and adjacent to Kammer Beach;
Whereas, BIG has hired more than 80 local employees who earn an average salary of $9.50 per hour, approximately 45% ($2.95 more) than the CNMI minimum wage of $6.55 per hour;
Whereas, BIG’s monthly payroll is $160,442;
Whereas, BIG has complied with the provisions of its lease agreement with CPA in that BIG relocated and constructed the Tinian Marine Stevedores warehouse, Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine buildings, CPA warehouse and office and Brown Tree Snake office;
Whereas, BIG has spent over $3 million dollars on the relocation and construction of the aforementioned buildings and a total of over $10 million dollars since the start of construction in August 2014;
Whereas, BIG has complied with permitting requirements of the Department of Public Works, Historical Preservation Office, Coastal Resources Management, and Department of Environmental Quality; and
Whereas, in the event that the Commonwealth regulatory agency, Coastal Resources Management, declines to approve BIG’s Master Siting Permit, this will result in the domino effect on Tinian’s economy and will include the lay-off of many local employees, and will negatively impact municipal employees and programs with depend on BIG’s monthly payroll of $160,442, annual $500,000 conditional license fee, and monthly average construction and operational expense of $190,000 in the CNMI.
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the undersigned, give our full support of the Project, Tinian Ocean View Resort and Casino. We further believe that the Project is port-related and that it complies with the provision of the DPL Conveyance and the Coastal Resources Management regulations.
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