• Access to Asian and U.S. supply chains and markets
• Local economy bolstered by military and tourism
• Abundant natural resources
“Guam is heavily influenced by the economies of Asia rather than just the United States,” notes Jack B. Jones, FAIA, principal of local firms PTJ Architects and J.B. Jones Architects. “In addition, the strategic aspects of Guam’s location have buffered other possible economic impacts as military spending continues to roll in along with the much-anticipated eventual transfer of the Marines from Okinawa” in Japan.
• Limited labor pool
• Local government financial issues
• High cost of living
“Poor government results in run-down infrastructure systems and struggling public school and hospital systems,” notes M. Asmuni Abdullah, AIA, principal of MV Architects, a local firm. The cost of living is high, he says, “due to importation of 99 percent of commodities and what we eat, wear, and enjoy having.”
POPULATION & JOB GROWTH
Current population: 180,865, with an 18% increase to 213,420 expected by 2020. Total employment: averaging 1.5 percent growth since 2005.
Karl A. Pangelinan, administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority, attributes the rapid growth to “both the Marine relocation and the surge of labor necessary to put the required infrastructure and operational facilities in place.”
The median home sale price for a three-bedroom home in December 2010 was between $212,000 and $250,000.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET
Office space in the 3.3-million-s.f. Class A commercial market starts at $2.10/s.f., rising to $5.00/s.f. in premium buildings.
“Housing and commercial centers are currently a big market outside of military bases, and warehouse building and temporary worker housing projects are on the increase as well to meet current demand,” Abdullah says.
“With a population under 200,000, Guam has a great deal of open space and room for expansion,” Jones says. “How Guam manages the planning and control of the associated development will have huge implications on the long-term character … of the island. Fortunately there is a very high understanding of this need throughout the community, etched into the island’s psyche by past successes and failures.”