The low-rent Tumon Village Apartments are about to get a new lease on life.

A high-end gated community — the El Dorado Country Club — will soon rise like the phoenix from the run down property in upper Tumon that 20 years ago was a premier rental development.

Work to re-vitalize the property was set to begin in early May on the 22-building 20- acre complex opposite the PIA Marine hotel and condominium complex.

The El Dorado will feature one two- and three-bedroom units and a 50-unit hotel specially designed for the extended business traveler and families. Each 2-bedroom hotel unit will feature a modern kitchen and individual washer and dryer.

The El Dorado is owned and will be managed by Nanyo Bussan Inc. of Japan.

Matthew C. Quintanilla was appointed resident rental manager. Prior to his assignment he worked as an assistant to David Su vice president of the Royal Orchid Hotel in Tumon. Su helped broker the deal between the former owners of Tumon Village apartments known only as BTC97SP a Delaware limited liability company registered on Guam as a foreign corporation and Nanyo Bussan Inc.

The deal to acquire the property and its structures was signed on April 22 after litigation was threatened. (See related story “Tumon village sale stalled by too much fine print ” in the Jan. 12 edition of the Journal.) The price at that time was pegged at $3.6 million. Su declined to give the amount of the sale or further details.

“A little over $5 million is going into the complete renovation of the complex. There will be 1 000 palms trees brought in and professional landscaping will be done by Michael Gonzalez ” Quintanilla said. Gonzalez is well known for his landscaping expertise at Pacific Islands Club Guam and is working on a tropical garden attraction on property that Su owns on the former site of the Wild West Gun Club in Tumon.

At the beginning of May a gate with private security guard was due to be posted at the entrance and the back gate locked so through traffic would no longer be allowed. Each building will be stripped down to the bare structure reinforced where necessary and then completely redecorated. Units will feature Italian tiles energy-saving electric refrigerators and ovens and fully rebuilt bathrooms with large tubs and showers. All units will be equipped with individually controlled split air conditioners.

All walkways will be lighted and a complete spa and gymnasium for tenants’ use will be built.

“A putting green is going to be built and the current swimming and wading pool will be ripped out and replaced with larger one complete with circular slides and a heated whirlpool and sauna. A fitness center complete with the latest in health conditioning equipment will be available for tenants’ use ” Quintanilla said.

The El Dorado Country Club will be a rental lease facility with no purchase options for tenants. There will be no common area fees. Rentals will be inclusive of water and rubbish removal. Power will be the responsibility of the tenant as each unit will have its own meter.

Quintanilla said that the community will again be a premier property to live in as it was 20 years ago. “There was at one time a waiting list that was over a year long for people wishing to live here. Now we are going to bring that all back it will be quite a challenge.”

Quintanilla told the Journal that the El Dorado will be a place for young couples wishing to raise a small family in a safe and secure environment; while at the same time an affordable residence for older people on a fixed income. “All will enjoy being near Tumon but tucked just far enough away so that traffic does not become a problem ” he said.

Quintanilla said there will be constant electronic surveillance and 24-hour security with visitors signing in at the front gate.

There are 48 one-bedroom single-bath apartments that will rent for $548 a month; 282 two-bedroom single-bath units for $689 a month; and 84 three-bedroom two-bath units that will rent for $795 per month. Each unit will come with two parking spaces per unit.

“This is the first time we have announced our plans and things are going to start happening quickly. We will remodel building by building so as to minimize the remodeling construction that will be going on ” Quintanilla said. “But we already have a few people asking because word slipped out that a whole new renovation was going to take place. I’ll be increasing the staff here shortly once we have finished the public models in about a month.” MBJ