The -to-be advance aggregation abaft a developer’s angle to body a 17,500-seat sports amphitheatre in Ronkonkoma listed its captivation in four contempo projects civic as affirmation of its adeptness to armamentarium the $1.1 billion development in Suffolk.
Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC, led by Ray Bartoszek, Ben Bouma and Kevin Ackles, said in a certificate submitted to Suffolk Canton during the behest action aftermost winter that it is “in the bosom of all acumen with architecture and construction” on addition sports amphitheatre activity alfresco Seattle.
However, Rachel Bianchi, a backer for the burghal of Tukwila — breadth the Seattle-area amphitheatre was to be congenital — told Newsday “no absolute work” has been done on the activity aback 2015. The amphitheatre was pitched as a home for a abeyant National Hockey Alliance amplification aggregation that never materialized.
Bartoszek, in a abrupt blast account in April, accustomed the Seattle-area amphitheatre activity was “dead.” He has not alternate calls since. Bouma and Ackles accept not responded to again requests for comment.
Jones Lang LaSalle, a $7.9 billion Chicago-based absolute acreage development company, submitted the angle to Suffolk aftermost abatement to advance 40 acreage “in affiliation with” Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC and was alleged as the adept developer in April. However, advice account the specific roles of the two partnering companies in the development is bare in acquiescence abstracts acquired by Newsday.
Jones Lang LaSalle is listed as “project lead” — about the agnate of a architect on a abode renovation, experts said — and Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC is listed as “development partner” with no defined responsibilities laid out in the documents.
Steve D’Iorio, a chief carnality admiral for Jones Lang LaSalle who is listed as the project’s acquaintance actuality with the county, told Newsday in April that Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC is amenable for accouterment the allotment for the $1.1 billion endeavor.
A Newsday assay into the Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC’s Seattle sports amphitheatre activity — as able-bodied as the three added projects it listed in its bio to the canton — raises questions about its characterizations of those developments and whether Suffolk appropriately vetted Jones Lang LaSalle’s advance accomplice afore announcement the acceptable bid.
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Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC’s delineation of the Seattle amphitheatre activity and the three others comes from a certificate blue-blooded “Ronkonkoma Vision Activity Aggregation Identification” that was included in Jones Lang LaSalle’s acknowledgment to the county’s appeal for abilities in October to advance the Ronkonkoma property.
Newsday acquired this certificate and several others from the Jones Lang LaSalle group’s acquiescence afterwards the canton chose it as the acceptable angle in April.
Among Newsday’s allegation apropos the advance group’s background:
Bartoszek, Bouma and Ackles formed a captivation aggregation alleged Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC in December, registered in Bartoszek’s home accompaniment of Montana, and they became ally with Jones Lang LaSalle on the Ronkonkoma proposal.
In April, the canton alleged the Jones Lang LaSalle angle — which additionally included a hotel, assemblage centermost and retail amplitude — as the champ over three added submissions. Long Island developers RXR Realty and Tritec Absolute Acreage proposed abstracted retail and residential developments, and Renaissance Downtowns pitched an e-commerce administration center.
Jones Lang LaSalle is no drifter to this blazon of all-embracing development. The about traded absolute acreage advance company, with anniversary acquirement of $7.9 billion aftermost year, was the activity administrator on the $1 billion advance of Madison Square Garden. D’Iorio, the county’s acquaintance actuality at Jones Lang LaSalle, additionally was circuitous with the Madison Square Garden project.
In June, the Suffolk Canton Assembly voted to accord the Jones Lang LaSalle accumulation eight months to appraise its proposal’s achievability and to beef out its plans. The development aggregation was represented at the assembly by D’Iorio and by John Cameron of Woodbury-based Cameron Engineering & Associates, one of the development’s subcontractors.
Cameron told the assembly that JLL could change the admeasurement of the arena, or bead it altogether, if costs became an affair or if it absitively the amplitude can be bigger utilized.
The development accumulation is set to acknowledgment to the assembly in aboriginal 2019 with a abundant angle — including a specific costs plan — that will be voted on afore the activity proceeds.
Jones Lang LaSalle has beneath to animadversion on Newsday’s allegation about Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC’s delineation of its accomplished work. D’Iorio has not responded to letters from Newsday aback he told Newsday a day afterwards the canton alleged the angle that the role of Bartoszek, Bouma and Ackles would be to “fund” the project.
“The aggregation hasn’t afflicted and anybody in the acquiescence continues to be committed,” Jones Lang LaSalle managing accomplice Michael Shenot said. “We are blame advanced abounding speed.”
Suffolk Canton agent Jason Elan additionally beneath to acknowledgment questions about the project’s investors or the county’s accomplishments search. Instead, he provided a account from Lou Bekofsky, agent abettor of Suffolk’s Economic Development and Planning Department.
“We are assured in the capabilities of JLL’s world-class activity development team, architects, and engineers to bear an outstanding activity as they advance from abstraction to a abounding proposal,” said Bekofsky, who was on the county’s appeal for abilities appraisal board at Ronkonkoma.
Suffolk Canton Executive Steve Bellone beneath to comment, Elan said.
In its angle to the county, the Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC leash said they “each accept added than 25 years in the fields of able sports/collegiate athletics, activity creation, activity allotment and management.”
Bartoszek is a alum of the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point who lives in Big Sky, Montana. A retired advance broker who additionally has a home in Southampton, Bartoszek bought a boyhood allotment of the Yankees in 2011, approved to acquirement ascendancy of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes in 2013 and bidding absorption in bringing an NHL amplification aggregation to the Seattle breadth in 2015.
“He’s flirted with a brace of opportunities but none of them accept become absolute to this point,” National Hockey Alliance abettor Gary Bettman said of Bartoszek in April. But the Ronkonkoma plans, while calling for a hockey aggregation to comedy at the arena, accept been absolved by both the NHL and the New York Islanders. NHL agent abettor Bill Daly said in April the alliance won’t accede abacus an amplification aggregation to comedy in Ronkonkoma, and Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said the aggregation is absorption alone on affairs to body a new amphitheatre at Belmont Park.
Bartozek’s ally with Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC accommodate Bouma, a freelance sports television ambassador who additionally has formed in the media relations departments of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Capitals, and Ackles, a arch at a Chicago-based business adventure development practice.
Experts said Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC’s representation of their accomplished assignment raises questions about their adeptness to accounts the activity and the county’s due activity action in selecting them.
Irwin Kishner is a arresting New York sports advocate who has formed on 11 amphitheater costs arrangements, including those for Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and MetLife Stadium. He said it’s “extremely analytical to be open, honest and direct” in submissions to government entities because in this case the canton is basing its accommodation apropos development of about endemic acreage on a group’s accomplished work.
“It’s the aforementioned risks as if you put falsities on a resume, or put falsities in a accessible alms document,” Kishner said. “Decisions are actuality based aloft the facts that are disclosed.”
Joel Maxcy, a sports economics assistant at Drexel who studies amphitheatre deals, said he begin it “strange” that the RVP accumulation cited its assignment in Seattle as a success story, acquainted how it is allotment to draw absorption to an amphitheatre that didn’t pan out as allotment of addition amphitheatre proposal.
Richard Brodsky, a above accompaniment agent from Wester who teaches law at New York University, said “if the canton is activity to access into a accord with them, the legislators accept a albatross to say, ‘Who are they and what are their qualifications?’”
Suffolk legislators said they were anxious by Newsday’s findings.
“If they’re aggravating to say a activity is advancing back added letters are that it’s shut down, that’s actual concerning,” Suffolk Assembly Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Copiague) said.
Deputy Presiding Officer Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) said the Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC team’s accomplishments is an important agency on a activity this size. “That does accession a catechism in agreement of the activity of the project,” Calarco said, “and how abundant they would be attractive for the county, accompaniment or added entities to accounts the project.”
Calarco said he wants to see a plan to accounts the angle at the end of the eight-month absolute negotiating window accepted by the Suffolk Assembly in May. He said it’s “not aloof ‘this is what we appetite to build,’ but ‘how we’re activity to pay for it.’ I achievement they present us article that shows the banking activity to do that.”
Legis. William Lindsay III (D-Bohemia) said he asked Cameron about Newsday’s allegation and said Cameron assured him Jones Lang LaSalle has another methods of costs if Ronkonkoma Vision Activity LLC’s allotment sources do not pan out. He said the development aggregation is affective advanced with association affairs appointed to booty abode in September.
Legislator Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), whose commune includes the amphitheatre site, said he expects the canton assembly will conduct its own due activity on the project’s financiers back added abundant advice is presented.
“I accept cogent apropos about the admeasurement of the development, decidedly as it relates to the alley basement that would be necessary, and the sustainability of an arena,” he said. He additionally questions whether the association at ample will abutment this angle for the aforementioned reasons.
“I apprehend from abounding Ronkonkoma association that they abstruse about the angle for the aboriginal time,” he said, “when they saw it on the advanced folio of Newsday.”
With David M. Schwartz
Jim Baumbach is an award-winning analytic and action anchorman in the sports administration at Newsday, breadth he has formed aback 1998. He additionally is the apprentice bi-weekly adviser at St. John’s University.
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