The Antonio B. Won Pat Guam International Airport Authority said it is negotiating with three potential developers that want to build freight facilities on property surrounding the airport.

“I’d like to see our island become a hub for freight forwarding between east and west ” said Jesus Q. “Jess” Torres executive manager of the authority.

Jean Meno Arriola manager of airport service said negotiations with at least two of the three developers should be concluded within three months.

Arriola said the airport has about 1 600 acres available surrounding the terminal and runways that is available for development.

While the airport would not talk specifically about the companies while negotiations are under way the Journal independently confirmed the names of two of the companies — Bridgecreek Development International and Triple B Forwarders. Triple B is an airport tenant in the crammed cargo facility.

The North Tiyan Housing area outlined in red is the focus of a push by the Antonio B. Won Pat Guam International Aiport Authority for air-freight facilities

Arriola briefly described the three proposals under consideration:

• The first is a multi-modal facility that would consolidate air and sea cargo operations. The building would be about 20 000 square feet and would cost about $1.7 million. “Our only contribution would be landscaping ” Arriola said.

• The second is a 40 000-square-foot air-freight facility that would be built with third-party financing.

• The third is a 100 000-suare-foot integrated cargo facility that would house customs and agriculture inspection offices and a bonded warehouse. It would have automated cargo handling. This overseas developer would design construct and lease space in the building. The owner would not occupy the building.

Meanwhile the airport authority is in final approval stages for a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to raze the former military houses at Tiyan.

Meno said there are three areas available for development — the Airport Industrial Park which extend along the Airport Access Road to Route 16 and the areas called North Tiyan Housing and South Tiyan. The Tiyan areas north and south of the runways must be developed with aviation-related businesses. The industrial park which is home to a gas station and a heavy-equipment sales company can be used for other activities.

The airport will construct within the next six months a $500 000 parking lot for remote storage washing and light maintenance for the six car-rental companies that operate out of the airport.

“We’re looking forward to expanding our presence at the airport ” said Eric J. Bell vice president and general manger of Tripl B. “Right now our airport facility functionality is limited because of space. Our ocean-freight terminal is in Harmon where we de-van ocean freight and distribute it to customers. We have a split operation and would like to consolidate air and sea operations — make it a multi-modal terminal at the airport.

“I bought a piece of land in Harmon for that purpose but the airport found out and said no on no lest get you in at the airpot. Wiykd ikuje ti in less than a year.”

John Carlson president of Bridgecreek was on Guam in May to participate in a Business Opportunities Mission sponsored by the Department of the Interior. Carlson said Bridgecreek is working on a major project in Guangzhou China. “So it is felt that if we are already involved in that part of the world a project in Guam and/or Saipan and Palau is not a real stretch and may make some sense. Depending on the outcome of BRAC out chairman Frank Jao and I believe there could be great opportunities in Guam in the near future.”

Bridgecreek Development is based in Huntington Beach Calif. with offices in Beijing and Gunagzhou China. A company profile says Bridgecreek over the past 25 years has developed a portfolio of properties in excess of $420 million in California Minnesota and Vietnam.

Carlson said it would be premature to comment on particulars of Bridgecreek’s proposal because the company is still in the discussion stage with the airport authority. He said Bridgecreek officials have met with airport board Chairman Frank F. Blas and Executive Manager Jesus Q. Torres and they expect to be back on Guam in the next six weeks for follow up meetings.

The first tenant to build in the Tiyan area DHL Express will hold a ribbon cutting on Oct. 7 for its new facility. DHL designed the 10 000-square feet build-to-suit facility. The airport constructed the building and DHL signed a long-term lease with options. DHL’s facility is an import and export facility for air cargo. Greg Dornon DHL’s general manager on Guam said “We’re thrilled with being in there and we look forwad to taking occupancy in the building probably Sept. 15 or 16.” Dornon said the airport has made it clear it would like to see the Tiyan parkway become an “air-cargo corridor.”

The terminal and parking lot of the Guam International Airport sit on about 230 acres. With the closure of the former Naval Air Station Guam on March 31 1995 and its turnover to the airport in 2002 the airport grew at once by 1 600 acres most of it undeveloped property. The 24-acre industrial park infrastructure was developed in the early 1990s but it has only attracted two tenants.

Torres said the airport can become a major economic catalyst for Guam. “Our mission is to have a first-class facility to enhance what we label as tourism. Aviation needs to be put on the front radar.” Torres said the airport and directly related employers provide jobs for more than 2 000 people in airline terminal and federal inspection jobs. “We touch the lives of our people and the livelihood of our community.”

The authority is also managing $115 million in terminal and runway improvement projects which are under way at this time. MBJ