Triple J Motors will offer motorists a location on Marine Corps Drive to source used cars.

The dealership lost its lucrative used-car location in front of Kmart Guam following the Oct. 1 groundbreaking for the construction of its new corporate headquarters on the same site.

Jeffrey B. Jones executive vice president for Triple J Enterprises Inc. told the Journal “We were looking for a location and then it dawned on us that there was this overgrown area virtually across Marine Corps Drive from our home so we made some calls. Because we have had some business relationships with the owners in the past we were able to work something out that was beneficial for each of us.”

The property he was referring to is an 11-acre piece of land that belongs to Modern ASPAC Development Inc. Triple J will lease one acre located on the north corner facing Marine Corps Drive and the airport access road. It most recently was home to Target Golf a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course destroyed by Supertyphoon Pongsona on Dec. 8 2002.

Patricia M. “Patty” Cotton Realtor with Century 21 Commonwealth Realty is property manager for the ASPAC group on Guam. “The owner of the ASPAC company is James S. Lee who is an interesting character that old-timers will know on Guam ” she said.

Cotton said Lee is truly a rags-to-riches story. “He was a tailor in Okinawa in the 1960s who got a few military contracts to make uniforms. He saved his money and came to Guam ran a business or two and them moved on to Hong Kong.”

Others may remember Lee as being involved in a court battle with soft-drink giant Coca-Cola Inc. On June 27 1983 attorneys for Coca-Cola and Lee ended the Coke battle before Judge Ramon V. Diaz 9-and-1/2 years after Civil Case No. 711-74 was filed. It started Oct. 22 1974 when Lee who had not been doing well with the bottling business claimed the Coca-Cola Export Co. had sabotaged his attempts to sell the Guam Coke operation. Lee wanted $4.75 million in damages.

The Coca-Cola Export Co. cut off Lee’s bottling supplies and told the court that franchises are non-assignable. Furthermore Coke said Lee had damaged its reputation by putting “Coke” in “Tab” bottles and by failing to satisfy the thirsty demands of the Guam market and maintain the high hygienic standard expected by the parent company. A building in Anigua still bears the James Lee name.

Meanwhile Cotton said that representatives from ASPAC visited Guam in November to check on their property and to assess current economic conditions. “They are really consumed with projects that are ongoing in Shanghai.” ASPAC has no intention of selling the Tamuning property. Cotton said “They still have plans to develop it.”

She said the rest of the 11-acre site is available to lease for up to five years. “I would like to see other car dealers contact us for leasing opportunities — a kind of auto strip row.”

Jones said that his corner located at airport access road and Marine Corps Drive will be paved within the next week and a small office erected. “We should be open by March 1.” MBJ