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Jan 13, 2017

No-go on Chon Saan Building purchase for Immigration

Back to the House…the Immigration Department has been seeking a new home, and the owners of Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan have stepped forward to offer shelter. It is not lost on anyone that the President of the Senate and owner of the building, Lee Mark Chang, made the multi-million offer to G.O.B. months ago. Government says it needs space to accommodate a new passport system being offered to Belize by the U.S. Government. The price for the Chon Saan Building, placed at millions of dollars, is a sticking point, and apparently, a bridge too far. Asked in the House today whether the purchase had been completed, the Prime Minister, responding for Senator Godwin Hulse as Immigration Minister, said it would not be, and explained why.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The owners of Chon Saan did approach the Government with an offer to sell its building. Government has not agreed to do so, because principally, the asking price from the owners of the property is too much. What we did – as I said, we have an interest because of the urgency of the needs of the Immigration Department – we got an independent professional valuer to do a valuation, and the valuation he came up with is something like three hundred and odd thousand dollars less than the asking price from the owners of Chon Saan. Except they would be prepared to sell for the price that the valuer has come up with, there will be no purchase. I am never going to have Government pay money for a premises from anybody at a rate that the professionals say would be excessive, so that is where that situation is.”

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