THE MEDIA VOICE THAT WRITES WHAT EVERYONE IS THINKING BUT IS TOO SCARED TO SAY
IS ROBERT KRAFT’S PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP IN BOSTON LEGITIMATE?
IS RANDY BENDERSON’S PRIVATE/PUBLIC
PARTNERSHIP IN SARASOTA ILLEGITIMATE AND A SCAM?
As the Sarasota Herald Tribune (SHT) and local politicians rave about Sarasota being awarded the 2017 International Rowing championship as a “partnership between taxpayers and Benderson,” lets take a close look at this “partnership between taxpayers and Benderson.”
Let us compare the” partnerships between taxpayers and Benderson” with a partnership concerning another sport facility, which was between taxpayers of Massachusetts and the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft.
First of all, let us take a look at Benderson and Kraft, who is the owner of one of the world’s most successful sports franchises, the New England Patriots.
Robert K. Kraft, born June 5, 1941 is a self made multi millionaire American business magnate. Kraft earned degrees from both Columbia University and Harvard. He is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Kraft Group, a diversified holding company with assets in paper and packaging, sports and entertainment, real estate development and a private equity portfolio. His sports holdings include the National Football Leagues New England Patriots and Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution, and Gillette Stadium.
Randy Benderson is the son of the late Nathan Benderson, who created a multi million dollar real estate development company, Benderson Development Co., which for many years was headquartered in Buffalo, New York. Nathan Benderson was the founder of Buffalo’s most prominent real-estate empire. Benderson Development includes more than 250 properties in 35 states and Canada.The various Benderson corporations have more than 4.5 million square feet in its current development pipeline.
Nathan Benderson moved his corporate headquarters to Sarasota 10 years ago and Randy Benderson was installed as President of Benderson Development. One of Randy’s two brother’s, Ronald owns and operates car washes in the Buffalo area and his other brother, Robert produces movies in Hollywood.
Let us now compare Randy Benderson’s Private/Public Partnership sports facility, Nathan Benderson Park and Robert Kraft’s Private/Public Partnership sports facility, Gillette Stadium, which is the home of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution.
After years of trying to get Massachusetts taxpayers to foot the bill — even threatening to move the team to Hartford and Providence R.I, Kraft became just the third NFL team owner to build his own stadium in 2000.
Kraft borrowed $452 million to build Gillette Stadium. He faced $20 million in annual debt payments, but the new stadium is generating $60 million a year just from sponsorships and premium seating sales.
As part of public’s contribution to the Private/Public Partnership, the Massachusetts taxpayers paid $72 million for infrastructure improvements and road construction around Gillette Stadium, but “get this,” the team is required to pay that money back over 25 years.
At the groundbreaking for Kraft’s privately funded sports venue, Massachusetts Republican Governor Paul Cellucci stood alongside Robert Kraft and watched a crane put the first 42,000-pound concrete seating section in place at the stadium. The leading cheerleader for the new stadium during years of often tense negotiations with legislative leaders, Cellucci hailed the project as a boon to the Bay State’s economy.
”This is an outstanding example of when the state invests in infrastructure dollars to leverage private sector investment,” Cellucci said.
By conventional “wisdom” for financing sports stadiums, Kraft should have been crying poor. That conventional wisdom says that teams — no matter what the sport — can’t possibly pay for a new stadium on their own and remain competitive.
But in its first season in Gillette Stadium, the Patriots finished the regular season with an NFL-best 14-2 record. On top of that, Forbes magazine valued the team at $756 million — in large part because of the new stadium — up considerably from the $158 million Kraft paid for the Patriots in 1994.
Let us now take a look at Randy Benderson’s Private/Public Partnership at his Rowing Park sports facility:
Sarasota County has contributed $20 million to Benderson Park and the State of Florida has contributed $10 million to Benderson Park. In addition there is the $20 million Cattleman Extension Road, which connects Benderson’s shopping centers on Fruitville Road to his shopping centers on University Boulevard, as it flows past his Rowing Park. This is a publicly financed road and there exists no stipulation that Benderson has to pay for its $20 million construction cost.
There is no doubt that there will be many more $millions$ in public money Benderson will gain in this Private/Public Partnership sports facility. For example, instead of having to build stormwater retention facilities for his newly constructed shopping center on University Boulevard, Randy saves $millions$ by using the lake where his Rowing Park is located for his stormwater retention facilities.
Even more is on the drawing boards for the public contributions to Randy’s Private/Public Partnership. For example, in order to move the traffic generated for the various Benderson shopping centers and his Rowing Park, a eight lane interchange will be built coming off Interstate U.S 75 to University Boulevard —–and Randy wants the public to pay for it.
RANDY BENDERSON’S FRIENDS
The state DPW requires that who is responsible for the interchange being built, is responsible for paying for the road. Despite it being quite obvious that Benderson’s Rowing Park sports facility and his new shopping center are responsible for the interchange being built, Randy is “persuading” his friends in Tallahassee, that since his Rowing Park will brings $millions in revenue to the public, the public should pay for building the eight lane interchange.
At the present time with at least over $50 million in public funds for this Private/Public Partnership and no doubt many more $millions$ to come from the public, RANDY BENDERSON HAS CONTRIBUTED 1 MILLION DOLLARS.
What makes this Randy Benderson Private/Public Partnership SCAM even more scandalous, is that Randy Benderson will make $millions in revenues from those coming to his Rowing Park, who will be shopping at his five shopping centers and staying at his various hotels he owes and operates around his Rowing Park.
Who else will be making $millions$ from the Randy Benderson Public/Private Partnership Scam will be Randy’s home building “friends” at nearby Lakewood Ranch, Pat Neal and Carlos Beruff and a few others, who are proficient at “drinking at the public trough” and buying off local and state officials with thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
What is even as disgusting, is the Sarasota Herald Tribune (SHT) writing “puff pieces” about what they call this “partnership between the taxpayers and Benderson.”
Just as Dianne McFarlin, who was the previous publisher of the SHT, said nothing about the corporate welfare and free lunches of Benderson, Neal, Beruff, Henry Rodriquez and others in the past, so are the new publishers of SHT saying nothing of the the present Randy Benderson corporate welfare scheme, which will generate $millions$ in advertising into the SHT.
Just a McFarlin collected $millions$ in advertising at the SHT, allowing a corrupt Sarasota County Government to be bought off by local politicians, so are the new publishers of the SHT turning their heads to a muti million dollar developer from Buffalo, who is buying off local and state officials in order for him to make his $millions at the public’s expense.
There are two questions THE SARASOTA PHOENIX would like to ask of any logical person, which we hope includes Randy Benderson:
1. IS ROBERT KRAFT’S SPORTS FACILITY IN MASSACHUSETTS AN LEGITIMATE EXAMPLE OF A PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP?
2. IS RANDY BENDERSON SPORTS FACILITY IN SARASOTA AN ILLEGITIMATE EXAMPLE OF A PRIVATE/PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP AND NOTHING MORE THAN A MULTI $MILLION$ SCHEME?
PLEASE READ THE ABOVE ATTACHMENT TO GET A HISTORY OF THIS “PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE TAXPAYERS AND BENDERSON.”