Friday, December 4, 2009

Consultant Has Local Connection to iStar /Asbury Partners

Audiences at City council meetings have watched as councilmembers grew steadily disgusted with Asbury Partners' failure to meet development deadlines of one kind or another over the course of seven years. Officials from time to time fretted over the lack of a letter of credit or other monies not posted by the Partners, and late tax and other payments to the City.

Then one Thanksgiving, while most of the country was praying that beleagured consumers would forget the economy long enough to open their wallets, and the other half sought cheaper living conditions, a front page lead story heralded a new waterfront entity for the City. In this case one who was holding rights to about $70 million in collateral -- i.e.: most of the waterfront.

iStar Financial, of NYC, was that entity, but the source on the story was a mayor from Warren County, who was identified as a consultant with a company named Roseland Advisors, said to be part of Roseland Property, with no physical location given. Tim McDonough, who is also a former president of the League of Municipalities, was very positive about this changing of the guard, if you will. As AP attorney Glenn Scotland explained recently, iStar will simply replace or assume 100% of Asbury Partners Holdings and Cherokee Asbury Park LLC's role in Asbury Partners.

So, who is Tim McDonough, why are we listening to some mayor from a very small community called Hope Twp, way up north, and how did he become the person to "assist" iStar?
There is very little on the internet about Mayor McDonough, despite his nearly 20 years in office. And we weren't able to find any registrations for a Roseland Properties or Property or Advisors. But one local name appeared with McDonoughs' in a significant way.

Jerold L. Zaro, a lead partner in the powerful law firm of Ansell, Zaro, Grimm & Aaron, Aaron being the City's redevelopment litigation attorney (also, our city attorney, Fred Raffetto, is a member of this firm), introduced McDonough to the board of the now defunct NJ Highway Authority. Being chair of the NJHA, which was responsible for the operation of the 173-mile long Garden State Parkway, Zaro's praise was sufficient to land McDonough the exectutive director position.

This was back in August, 2002, when Jim McGreevey was governor. In 2003, McGreevey announced his plan to merge the GSP under the Turnpike, which he did. McDonough became deputy executive director under that combined entity, under executive director Michael Lapolla. (It is now headed by Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti at a salary of $164,000.)

McDonough's background, reported at the time of his NJHA appointment, was mainly in marketing. He was senior marketing executive of Farmingdale-based PMK Group, which provides waste management engineering and planning services, and before that VP and manager of the Mid-Atlantic Region for A.G. Edwards, a securities brokerage and investment banking company in the US and Europe, for which he also directed marketing.
He has served on numerous boards and in 1995 was voted Mayor of the Year.

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