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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Re Nassau Coliseum, "Florida-based developer Nick Mastroianni II has [NOT] assumed the lease" (updated/clarified)

Lou Lamoriello says Islanders 'definitely' playing at Nassau Coliseum for 2020-21 season, Newsday reported yesterday, quoting the team's general manager, who said it may take until January 2021, rather than re-start sooner.

While the under-construction UBS Arena at Belmont Park is on track for the 2021-22 season, the Islanders have faced question marks since Mikhail Prokhorov, former operator of the publicly owned Coliseum, announced he would walk away, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and, presumably, the new competition.

That left the lease in the hand of the debt holders, 200 immigrant investors who put up $100 million for renovations under the federal government's EB-5 program, which offers visas in exchange for low-interest loans that purportedly create jobs.

"Florida-based developer Nick Mastroianni II has assumed the lease but no new deal has been reached with a company to operate the arena long term," Newsday wrote. Lamoriello's words suggests that the Isles are privy to negotiations--after all, they'd be the major tenant.

Who owns the lease?

(Updated 12/1/20.)

But Newsday's frequent framing, that Mastroianni "has assumed the lease," just isn't true. 

Mastroianni's U.S. Immigration Fund, a so-called regional center, brokered the deal for the immigrant investors through a special purpose entity, reaping--presumably, as with the company's work on Atlantic Yards II and Atlantic Yards III--both fees and interest.

So a special purpose entity, managed by Mastroianni but not owned by him, owns the lease. That could set up a conflict between the actual leaseholders and Mastroianni. And Mastroianni, though he's been a developer, is primarily a middleman.

The U.S. Immigration Fund was not the investor; it recruited 200 Chinese investors to raise $100 million. But an affiliate of the U.S. Immigration Fund, which manages that investment, may well now control the lease.

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