As the Air Force prepares to increase personnel and assets on Guam a group of local investors led by the Camacho and Untalan families are first in line with new housing close to Andersen Air Force Base.

Tonko Reyes Inc. has purchased a 93-acre site in Northern Guam at a price tag of $2.94 million. Plans are underway to begin by the end of 2004 Phase 1 consisting of a development of 179 homes. The total project investment is pegged at $63 million.

Marcel G. Camacho partner in the development project told the Journal that the time was right to revitalize plans set aside during the last decade when the economy dried up.

Camacho said even without the anticipated military-market growth Guam is in need of single-family homes and he and other investors are moving forward on development plans.

“We have a local team made up of a marketing staff an engineer a surveyor the architect the development team and the land-use consultant already on board ” he said.

Ypaopao Estates in Dededo — the property to be developed — is well known with some 60 units already built there.

“We bought the property from a Japanese company that could never really get the project off the ground having built only 60-some homes. We purchased some 90 acres at a very good price ” Camacho said.

Daita USA Inc. on Sept. 7 1999 purchased 93.6 vacant acres off Aga Boulevard in Ypaopao Dededo — complete with utilities — from Guam Shuho Inc. for $2.94 million or $7.75 per square meter. The sale in August has not yet been registered.

Camacho said the investment has been carefully planned.

“The military likes what we are doing as we are now designing it [the project] to meet their specifications. Local people can purchase units and make them available for rentals to the military or purchase and stay there.”

He said Tonko Reyes Inc. had already considered agreements with management contractors who handle housing units for military personnel elsewhere but may discuss housing directly with the Air Force. “It all depends how this is going to play out but whichever direction the project does take there is an ever-growing need for these types of homes and the time is right to buy these kinds of homes.”

The project is split into two phases with 179 units to be constructed in each phase. “There will be over 350 new homes being built in this one area ” Camacho said. He said the Ypaopao project would represent the largest single home building construction project since the mid to late 1980s.

The Ypaopao Estate project is being undertaken by a group of individuals who have worked successfully together in the past. The principals are Richard Untalan vice president of Tonko Reyes Inc. which does business as Compadres Mall; Eduardo G. Camacho chairman of the board of Personal Finance Center and Marcel’s father; and Johnny Reyes a real estate developer who partners in Compadres Mall and the Cost U Less development. Marcel said members of the group have constructed such projects as the Flora Pago Townhouse a 140-unit multi-family dwelling in Chalan Pago; Blue Pacific Lattice condominiums in Tumon; and Compadres Mall; and Cost-U-Less.

The area is already zoned for residential development. The 93-acre site was originally approved for development of 279 three- and four-bedroom single-family dwelling units. A renewal of the original land-use approval must be granted by the Guam Land Use Commission which is currently being sought.

“We are on the agenda before the Land Use Commission on Oct. 14 requesting the original approval be re-instated ” Camacho said. “Re-approval from the Guam Land Use Commission is the last hurdle to breaking ground.”

Frank Martin is the architect for the project. Martin was formerly a partner with Martin Cristobal & Laguana Architects. Camacho said Martin is coming out of retirement for this project and is partnering with the Untalan and Camacho families.

Three on-island realty companies will market the project Camacho said. They are Christopher Murphy principal broker for The Real Estate Professionals; Tamio S. “Tom” Clark principal broker for Blue Pacific Realty; and Nancy Robato principal for Pacific Pearl Properties.

Compadres Family Investment has not yet decided on a financier he said. “There is nothing but optimism in the air and the banks all have great confidence in the group.”

The Untalan family Camacho said is putting $14 million into the project — money it received from the Bank of Guam stock settlement. Camacho said that the selected financing arm will put in half and Compadres Family Investment will put in the rest.

“What prompted this was Richard Untalan bought 14 homes in the Ypaopao area which were old. He had the real estate people ‘flip-it’ and when they penciled it out they found a lucrative venture in renting to the military so we decided to buy the 90 acres behind the old estates and now we’re ready to move forward ” Camacho said.

Homes will be 1 900 square feet which includes two-car garage; and will have central a/c ceramic tiles and a full compliment of appliances. The project is served by underground utilities. MBJ