The Guam Hotel Okura is planning to spend between an estimated $20 million and $30 million on expanding and adding new areas to its existing facilities — making it one of the largest redevelopments in Tumon.

Mark L. Day director of Guam Resorts Inc. which does business as the Okura told the Journal “We are transforming the Guam Hotel Okura into a higher end product by incorporating luxury class villas on the property. Renovations to the existing building the lobby and car entrance are expected along with a new swimming pool area restaurants and wedding chapel. This will be a unique project for the island and we believe it to benefit the overall economy of Guam by attracting a segment of higher spending visitors.”

On June 20 Von Watson Architects submitted plans for the hotel’s expansion and renovation to the Guam Land Use Commission for approval. Although Kunimoto Architect Design Group Inc. which designed the rebuild and upgrade is registered to do business in Guam because of its relations with the new owner on other projects through several years Kunimoto has hired Von Watson.

M. Asmuni “Muni” Abdullah principal at Von Watson Architects told the Journal “We will be the representatives of Kunimoto here locally.”

Abdullah said he could not comment on the precise renovation figure. “It is one of the biggest developments currently planned in the hospitality industry. It’s been a long process in the making.”

The plans include the demolition of the existing BBQ Restaurant swimming pool tennis court the existing three-story lanai-building wing with about 90 guestrooms and the demolishing of the V-shaped tower (the top five floors).

The landscaping main porte cochere entry driveway and parking facilities are to be renovated — along with the interior renovation and upgrade of numerous hotel spaces. Construction consists of a new entertainment retail and multi function facility labeled the entertainment dome a new indoor/outdoor restaurant wedding chapel a new swimming pool with waterfalls and deck areas a spa and 23 villas — some with their own swimming pools.

According to the plans

• the entertainment dome which will be built in front of the V-shaped building will be 20 675 square feet and two stories high. The dome will have a 1 840 square-foot stage area and restaurants on the first and second floor each one consisting of over 6 000 square feet. There will be approximately ten retail spaces five on the first floor and five on the second floor. Nine of the spaces are 628 square feet with the tenth space being 575 square feet.

• There will be a new 8 896 square-foot seaside restaurant constructed. The restaurant will have a 2 243 square foot barbecue area that seats about 110 people a 1 120 square-foot buffet area and the actual 2 787 square-foot restaurant area that seats about 100 people. Also located in the restaurant will be a 783 square-foot bar.

• Three of the 23 villas to be constructed will be two bedroom units consisting of 1 607 square feet. Each of the two bedroom units will have a terrace area a 312 square-foot master bedroom another 307 square-foot bedroom a living room a kitchen area two bathrooms two vanity rooms two toilets and two walk-in closets. Each of the two-bedroom villas will also come with a swimming pool that is approximately 20 feet by 20 feet and about five feet deep.

• The remaining 20 villas are one-bedroom units broken up into four type A villas and 16 type B villas. Type A villas are a little larger by more than 30 square feet than the type B villas. Type A villas will be 599 square feet and come with a living room/bedroom a 106 square-foot bathroom vanity room walk-in closet toilet and a terrace area.

• Type B villas will be 566 square feet and come with a living room/bedroom 60 square-foot bathroom vanity room walk-in closet toilet and terrace area. Type B villas will also come with a swimming pool approximately 10 feet by 20 feet and about five feet deep. All of the villas are surrounded by a wall and have a view of the ocean.

• The condominiums will be larger than 520 square feet. Each will come with a bedroom bathroom closet area living room kitchen area and balcony.

The hotel had hoped to have approval from the Guam Land Use Commission by Sept. 23 and building approval by the fourth quarter of 2005 but the GLUC has yet to approve the plans. The GLUC will be discussing the hotel’s plans at its meeting on Nov. 29 at which it plans to have a quorum. The construction will take at least 24 months to complete. Completion of the project is scheduled for the end of 2007. MBJ