Hanom Investments Inc. confirmed to the Journal that it is the purchaser of the Royal Palm properties.

Brian Y. Suhr president of Hanom Investment Inc. and president and chief executive officer of South Pacific Petroleum Corp.; told the Journal that Hanom "closed the purchase of the former Royal Palm properties from Kawasho [International (Guam) Inc.] on Jan. 24."

Hanom Investment plans on developing the property into a "First class resort condo/hotel/commercial mixed-use project. The total project cost is estimated at approximately $90 million and is expected to take three to four years to complete " he said.

Suhr said he could not release any further details about the project at this time.

Hanom Investment Inc. was incorporated in 1994. Its officers and shareholders are Suhr; Michael S. Hahm executive vice president of Hanom Investment and South Pacific Petroleum Corp.; and Woojong Kim chairman of Hanom Investment.

In an earlier edition of the Journal sources told the paper that Guam-based buyers were purchasing the Royal Palm Resort property from Kawasho International (See "Palmed Off; Infamous Tumon hotel property sold to on-island investor group" in the Jan. 8 edition of the Journal.).

According to Journal sources the six lots that comprise the property sold for $500 a square meter or $9 135 000.

Suhr said "Hanom Investment Inc. is very pleased to actively participate in Guam’s continued economic growth through prudent investments and responsible quality development projects. Hanom intends to do its part in creating jobs paying taxes and delivering quality real estate products for the benefit of the local and foreign consumers to ultimately improve the standard of living for all Guam residents."

Tamio S. Clark principal broker for Blue Pacific Realty; marketed the property at an asking price of $5.5 million. After background checks six bidders were given pre-approval about a year ago and invited around Thanksgiving to submit offers by Dec. 5 with final selection scheduled between Dec. 15 and 18 and closing due by Dec. 25. The letter to prospective buyers detailing terms and conditions said that loans for the purchase would not be acceptable. “Only offers for all cash closing will be considered “” it said.

Five of the lots are fee simple totaling 15 916 square meters. The sixth which is 2 354 square meters contains the three-story parking lot. That lot is leasehold at an annual ground rent of $30 000 and owned by Venancio M. and Anna Unpingco. The asking price for that lot was set at $1 million.

The lots stretch from Pale San Vitores through to Tumon Bay. W. Nicholas Captain president of the Captain Co. and Captain Realty; said the property was “”one of the last few remaining ocean-front properties in Tumon”” available for purchase. The property is zoned for both hotel and condominium usage.

The sources said the purchasers were "local investors actively involved in real estate."

The parking lot is almost all that remains of the Royal Palm which suffered damage in the Aug. 8 1993 earthquake and was demolished on Dec. 13 1993.The beachfront property was the subject of Guam’s longest-running court case and one of the most expensive cases in U.S. history.

The Royal Palm opened on July 27 1993 less than a month before the 62-second earthquake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale brought structural damage to the luxury hotel. Collapse of a tower caused the hotel to lean at a 20-degree angle to Tumon Bay.

On Nov. 10 1993 Kawasho filed a civil suit claiming gross construction negligence against construction manager Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. SsangYong Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd. and the Insurance Co. of North America. Trial costs were estimated at between $125 million and $135 million "" enough to build a new hotel (See “”The cost of the Royal Palm trial “” in the June 30 2003 edition of the Journal.).

The jury awarded damages of $73.4 million on Dec. 3 2001 agreeing that the contractor failed to install "" in violation of the design "" hoops or crosstie rebar at more than 600 column-beam joints in the tower that collapsed. Instead SsangYong had installed U-bars. The second phase of the trial to determine punitive damages began on Feb. 13 2002 followed by an award of an additional $73.4 million. Prior to ruling on 31 post-verdict motions involving the amount of the awards Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood who presided over the case called the parties together and suggested they meet in private to discuss a settlement.

The case ended with a secret settlement of $133 million paid to Kawasho by Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. and its subcontractors (See “”Royal Palm secret settlement uncovered “” in the June 30 2003 issue of the Journal.). The parties signed court settlement documents on Dec. 18 2002 and on Jan. 14 2003 Tydingco-Gatewood affixed her signature to a single-page order that closed the books on the case. MBJ