In the wake of the failed military buildup the local architectural landscape has come to be littered with the remains of Guam’s half-built and abandoned construction sites ambitious projects that now stand as silent monuments to the construction industry’s optimism.
Of particular note among this group are the Ukudu Workforce Village and the Emerald Ocean View Park condominium buildings both of which are Younex International Corp. projects that were orphaned after failed expectations and a lack of funding kept them from being brought to fruition.
According to Department of Land Management documents Younex International took out an $80 million mortgage on the property in 2008 in favor of Woori a Korean bank and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation a Korean organization. The money was loaned to Younex International by Younex Construction and Development Co. Ltd. which in turn borrowed $30 million from the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and $50 million from a company entitled Guam Emerald Ocean View Ltd. Guam Emerald Ocean View Ltd. in turn borrowed $50 million from the Woori Bank.
After a number of legal and monetary issues Younex International was served a series of liens by frustrated contractors in light of delinquent payment and the construction site went dark for several years. Among the contractors serving Younex International with liens were Hawaiian Rock Products Conwood Products Inc. and – interestingly enough – Younex Builder Corp.
According to Christoper K. Felix president of Century 21 Realty Management Co. interest in the property has grown in recent months with several prospective Asian buyers visiting the site and conducting feasibility studies to determine whether finishing the project is worthwhile. Unfortunately he said the mortgage owed to the Woori Bank is higher than the property is worth which has placed the seller in a position to consider letting the property go for less than it is worth.
A similar issue plagues the Ukudu Workforce Village site in Dededo which was originally intended to house anywhere from 2 000 to 18 000 workers during the then-impending military buildup. After the military buildup fell flat Younex International halted production on the project and attempted to re-brand some of the finished units as military and migrant worker housing with varying degrees of success.
According to Felix the property is listed to sell at $70 million and there are quite a few potential buyers but none of them feel that the price is worth it.
“The majority of them are offering about one-third of the asking price “” he said “”and Younex is actively talking to potential buyers whenever they can to try and push the deal through. They are really trying to move that property.””