French Polynesia's president says he believes a $US1 million deposit has been made by the New Zealand company expected to build the South Pacific's biggest tourism project.
Edouard Fritch made the comment in an interview with the Tahiti-infos website, as contract negotiations are being finalised with the Kaitiaki Tagaloa consortium.
In August, the head of the consortium, Tukoroirangi Morgan, signed a $US700 million deal to construct The Tahitian Village project.
His company was given 200 days to complete the arrangements to build part of the resort complex.
Mr Morgan has declined to comment on the talks, saying until the first stage of the due diligence process ends in March, the negotiations remain confidential.
The Tahitian Village project includes three-to five-star hotels and apartment complexes, totalling more than 1500 units.
About 2500 people are expected to be employed for the construction phase.
The consortium includes Kaitiaki Property, Iwi International and the Grey Group, which already owns and runs five high-end hotels in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora.
The Tahitian Village is a downscaled successor project to the $US3 billion Mahana Beach project which was abandoned after facing funding problems.