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By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 5) – Four condominium towers and 20 villa-style luxury homes will rise on a cliff-line in Tamuning as part of a US$100 million project that the Guam Land Use Commission approved at a recent special meeting, the developer announced yesterday -- and the development will benefit the area via infrastructure improvements.

The proposed Emerald Ocean View Park will add 260 condo units to Guam's housing market, developer Younex International stated.

Two towers will rise 15 stories and the other two towers will be 18 stories, according to the developer's plan.

Younex International bought more than 10 acres of Tamuning oceanview land from Guam businessman Kenneth Jones' company earlier this year for $12 million, according to Pacific Daily News files.

Younex President and Chief Executive Officer Kil Koo Yoon is a 22-year Guam resident, and his construction business has performed contracts or subcontracts for such major projects as the LeoPalace Resort expansion, the Onward Beach Resort's tower and the Villa Kanton Tasi luxury residential development.

Yoon's construction company also recently completed about $7 million in renovations to the Japan Plaza hotel.

The Emerald's units will be available starting around the second quarter of 2010, said David Tydingco, senior vice president of Younex International.

The Emerald will be one of the first luxury condominium developments that would be available around the time Guam would see increased housing demand from defense contractors who will be drawn here by U.S. military buildup-related opportunities, Tydingco said. Major construction activities related to the military buildup could start around July 2010, according to a military "notional" plan.

The starting price for a condo unit at the Emerald will be around $500,000, Tydingco said.

The luxury housing project also will appeal to certain local buyers as well as people from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other places in Asia who are looking for tropical vacation homes or real estate investments, Tydingco said.

The project also comes at a time when South Korean and Taiwanese visitors to any U.S. location, including Guam, will be able to stay for up to 90 days per visit starting in July 2008, Tydingco said. Currently, South Korean and Taiwanese tourists can stay for up to two weeks each time they visit Guam, Tydingco said. Japanese visitors already are allowed a 90-day visit to Guam.

The Tumon Bay and Tamuning areas are seeing a resurgence of proposed major condominium projects reminiscent of Guam's early 1980s boom.

But sewer and water capacity is strained in the area. The Guam Waterworks Authority has acknowledged that Tumon Bay's existing sewer infrastructure has reached maximum capacity and could no longer take a new major development. Parts of Tamuning also are at or near capacity, according to GWA.

The Emerald's developer is offering a solution to meet not just its water and wastewater capacity, but also to neighboring areas in Tamuning, as well. "The residents of Jonestown, Perezville and the (Guam Memorial Hospital) have been plagued with a history of low to no water pressure during peak (usage), and several residents in the Jonestown complex are still on septic tanks and leaching fields," Younex said in a news release.

Working with GWA, Younex engineers have completed plans for the installation of a water line from the water tank at the Nissan dealership in Upper Tumon, according to the developer. GMH and its surrounding areas in Tamuning currently have only one water source -- from the Agana Heights water tank, according to Younex. "By connecting the two sources, residents in the area should see improved ... water pressure as well as uninterrupted water flow during peak demand periods," the developer stated.

The project also includes plans to install sewer lines that will be used not only for the Emerald project, but which can increase capacity for existing customers and future developments in the area, Younex announced.

Another developer, which has received GLUC approval for a $250 million high-rise condo and hotel development in the Gun Beach area, also has had to work out a solution to utility challenges. The proposed Gun Beach developer -- Kyung Maek C&D LLC -- has made initial discussions with GWA for the development's wastewater line to be routed away from Tumon and toward the GWA wastewater treatment plant in Dededo, according to Pacific Daily News files.

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