The International Trade Center one of Guam’s most recognizable office buildings in possibly the busiest intersection on Guam will be sold in April. South North Guam LLC will buy the ITC building owned by Fujita Properties Guam Inc.
"The general partners of South North Guam have been involved with Fujita Corp. out of Japan the mother company for about 20 years. Fujita Properties U.S.A. has sold all of their United States assets the ITC building being the last of their assets in the United States itself " said Joe John Mantanona general manager of the Acanta Mall and the only managing partner of South North on Guam.
Besides Mantanona the rest of the managing partners are from California. "That is where the money is coming from. What I’m finding in reference to the people that are working with me now is that they have determined with their financial institutions that Guam is past its trough. It’s no longer at the bottom pit of its economic cycle and it is moving up. It’s not racing up but has at least stabilized."
Mantanona told the Journal the building sold for about $7 million and the sale should be completed by early April. He said plans for the building include "reprogramming" and renovations as soon as the sale has been finalized. "The Initial plan is to stabilize the rent program and then we are going to reprogram. When I say reprogramming I mean that we get new tenants. We redefine what the building is about and then we work towards changing it to meet the needs of those types of tenants we will be looking for."
Mantanona compared the reprogramming the ITC building will be going through to what was done at the Acanta Mall. "We came in and changed it from a retail place to a lifestyle center. We’re still putting in some food and beverage [outlets] and we’re going to change some of the retail tenants to fit the lifestyle center the needs of the community."
South North Guam will be taking on the terms and conditions of the existing tenant leases. "We’ve been taking a look at the types of tenants that are in there. Obviously there’ll be some that will no longer exist within a year over there. Then we’re going to be billing out the building to attract the type of tenancy that we would like to see there " he said.
W. Nicholas Captain president of the Captain Co. is appraising the building for South North Guam. He told the Journal "There has been a significant increase in interest in Guam real estate from foreign investors over the last 18 months. I think it is due to a combination of forces including the substantial press coverage that we are receiving with the military transfers from Okinawa to Guam combined with the extremely depressed real estate market conditions that we have passed through." He added "The ITC building is a landmark and it is tough to go wrong with a landmark."
Mantanona said the building is instantly recognizable. He said "It absolutely is an icon. It is right on the corner of what I believe is the apex of Guam. We even call that intersection the ITC intersection. We’re going to bring it back to dominance. We’re going to give it an essence that it has never had before. I really believe there will be a lot of international transactions going through there. We’ll get all the right players involved with being a tenant or participant of the ITC building."
The ITC building was completed in 1974 and is the largest office building on Guam. It is nine stories high and 210 000 square feet of space. It has about 160 000 square feet of leasable office space. In 2004 the government of Guam appraised the building for real property tax purposes at $16.8 million. MBJ