Ten-digit deal scrapped...or is it? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ten-digit deal scrapped...or is it?

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - A billion-dollar deal is off the table for the Ancestral Lands Commission.  According to Mike Cruz, legal counsel for Guam Economic Development Authority, the agency that handles land leases for the Commission lands says negotiations with Tebo Development, a company based in Boulder, Colorado, have come to a halt.  

"The law requires us to cease negotiations with the developers of both lots and we will probably cancel the requests for proposals," said Cruz.  Tebo has offered a billion dollars to lease 500 acres of land on Federal Aviation Administration property. Cruz says GEDA was negotiating with another company for land on Andersen South. Both parcels of land under Public Law 30-06 are now to be allotted to original Tiyan landowners.

"There are two properties that are addressed in the law those are two separate companies we are dealing with we would issue cancellation notices for both properties," he added.

From here, Cruz says any negotiations for the those properties should be between the land owners and the interested parties.  But Joel Tribaudini, a negotiator for Tebo Development, says the deal with ancestral lands is not off the table.  In fact, he says Tebo accepted the terms for the lease proposed by GEDA before the public law was signed.

"That submittal at that point in time was out acceptance to all their terms and concluded the negotiations process at that time," he said. Tribuadini says they expect GEDA to stick to the terms negotiated, explaining, "We are now waiting for GEDA to provide us with a lease agreement we can sign to proceed to construction process and payment of lease terms."

But according to Cruz, GEDA is no longer at the bargaining table. "Once we cancel the request for proposal, we will be out of it," he stated. Tribuadini contends negotiations were over and says they were shocked and dismayed when the bill was signed into law.

He says Tebo Development spent hundreds of thousands of dollars reviewing the property and developing a master plan, noting, "All this effort and all this work we put forward and all this money we have spent all these years comes to nothing to me that not right."

Tribaudini says it was news to him that GEDA would revoke the RFP and says the deal they offered the Ancestral Lands Commission would benefit all those who are owned land.  Over 70 landowners are to receive lands under Public Law 30-06.  Yesterday, Commission members discussed how that would happen; the Tiyan land law requires the land be doled out to the owners with in 180 days.

Director of the Ancestral Lands Commission Ed Benavente says a special meeting will be held next week to determine how the agency will issue the land.  As for Tribualini he says has not yet heard directly from GEDA that the RFP will be canceled and says Tebo does not yet have plans to negotiate directly with the landowners.

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