Guam - Although Guam's business community is currently mum on the subject, KUAM News has discovered land at the Guam Shipyard is now up for lease.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command has formally expressed interest in leasing 49 acres of industrial property at the Shipyard.

KUAM News has obtained a request for expression of interest issued on October 19 that indicates for planning and information purposes only. NAVFAC is looking for interested companies to submit letters of interest by next week indicating their desire to enter into a lease agreement and provide ship repair and maintenance services. According to the RFEI, the leased property would serve as a primary repair and overhaul facility for military sealift command ships that are transiting through Guam.

The U.S. Government hopes to enter into a long term lease effective October 2012.

Standard leasing terms permit a five-year lease, however, a longer lease may be granted if determined necessary by the Secretary of the Navy. The government intends to issue a solicitation on or about September 30 of next year.  

This particular property was the subject of a 1996 environmental baseline study that examined the property, facilities and equipment with the lease of the former Naval Ship Repair Facility.  In 1997 a finding of suitability of leasing the former SRF was considered. The Government of Guam, through the Guam Economic Development Authority, has been leasing the 49 acres of land from the federal government and subleasing it to Guam Industrial Services (dba, "The Guam Shipyard"). 

GovGuam and the Shipyard's leases both expire in 2012-the same time the military is looking at lease out the property again. The Shipyard has had a controversial qualifying certificate since 2002 and a tax lien was issued months ago on the company.   The shipyard has alleged the QC and changes that were made by former governor Carl Gutierrez was legitimate, but the Guam Economic Development Authority and the Department of Revenue & Taxation have argued otherwise; the latter agency saying the company owes more than $4,000,000 in taxes.

While the lease is up in 2012, Shipyard President Mathews Pothen declined an on-camera interview and said he cannot comment until the solicitation process is complete.

KUAM News spoke Guam Chamber of Commerce president David Leddy, who likewise declined comment on the development, saying they had just recently become of aware of NAVFAC's issuance of the request.