GUALO RAI Saipan "" A Hawaii-based engineering and construction management company operating on Saipan for the past 14 years has opened an office on Guam eyeing multi-million dollar U.S. Department of Defense housing projects.

Ralph Hayashi senior project manager of SSFM International and vice president for the company’s Pacific region operations told the Journal "We see some very good opportunities on Guam. We know there will be a lot of growth for companies such as ours with all of the military work that is being programmed for Guam and we look forward to being part of this growth."

Hayashi said because of the military expenditures anticipated for Guam "we feel there will be more engineering work than the local engineering firms can handle." He said SSFM International was established in Hawaii in 1959 and is engaged in construction project planning management and engineering and has existing partnerships with many large architectural and engineering design companies in the U.S.

It is also involved in various defense projects in Hawaii. "We have the capacity to take on all sizes and types of engineering projects " he said. "We look forward to complementing the local architectural and engineering firms [on Guam] that is work with and for them. We feel there are opportunities for us to work for the local architectural and engineering firms because of our ability to call upon our own personnel our vast experiences in engineering designs and construction management our partnerships with other A&E [architectural and engineering] firms and ability to provide specialized engineering requirements that might not be available locally " he added.

Hayashi said he is "making contacts with all sectors expressing interest in working for them." The company’s plan to open a Guam office Hayashi said "seriously began at least a couple of years ago."

He said "Early last summer we began our due diligence on opening the office. Late last summer I began looking for office spaces and in November began making arrangements for the rental space in Harmon." Located on the second floor of the Guam Business Center the rented office had a soft opening in December with the official opening scheduled for May 22.

SSFM International is currently working with the Northern Mariana Islands government’s Water Task Force project which involves a multi-year multi-million dollar federally-funded overhaul of the islands’ water distribution system.

According to the company’s Web site the company’s projects include:

The $150 million University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine medical complex in Manoa;

The $46.56 million Veterans Administration Ambulatory Clinic project in Hawaii;

The $23.84 million Pearl City bus facility project in Honolulu Hawaii;

The $13 million Honolulu Traffic Calming Improvement project;

The $25.8 million wastewater treatment plant project at Fort Kamehameha in Hawaii;

The $4.8 million U.S. Coast Guard boathouse project also in Hawaii;

The $4 million Waialae water system improvement project in Honolulu. ; and

The $1.5 million design and construction management of the Saipan International Airport’s automated security access control system and video surveillance monitoring system.

Hayashi has extensive experience in the construction management field. A registered civil and structural engineer in Hawaii; structural engineer in the NMI; and civil engineer on Guam and worked as Public Works director of Maui in Hawaii; and worked in Korea for six years as an invited contractor by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Hayashi said he is "very excited [about] being able to do work on Guam." The Journal reported that real estate prices on Guam are expected to shoot up with the relocation of thousands of U.S. military personnel by 2012. The relocation comes with multi-million dollar housing projects to accommodate the personnel. (See the story "Real estate reality; Military moves cause rush to invest" in the Jan. 23 edition of the Journal.) MBJ