Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ft. Bliss & Ft. Howard Projects & Infantino Scam

Can you explain to me how John Infantino's Federal Development, LLC was going to work on a massive, mixed-use, multimillion dollar, active military family and military veterans development project in Texas and one for veterans in Maryland at the same time?

John Infantino's website Federal Asset Management contains a page that lists numerous places around the globe where he claims to be an Asset Manager/Property Manager on projects. Federal is known - world wide - to never complete or be a valuable asset to any project. There are Internet published news stories - from all around the world - that verify these hard, cold facts. You must go to Federal Asset Management and click on the link for "Projects" to see the lists, because the web address bar does not show a separate link to them.

In the list is a listing for a project at Ft. Bliss in El Paso,Texas. The Federal Asset Management website has a copyright date of 2013, but Federal lost the Ft.Bliss deal in 2010. Here is part of that listing:

Federal Asset Manager's Role: Asset Manager/Property Manager
Location: Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Tx. USA Beaumont Villages
Public Entity: U.S. Army Market: Commercial, Residential, Educational Use: Medical Research, Medical Records, Apartments, Office, Retail, Veteran Senior Housing  
Size: 90 acres/1.5 million gsf

The development plan, made possible through congressionally authorized Enhanced-Use Lease authority, includes mixed-use development totaling 1.5 million square feet adjacent to the William Beaumont Army Medical Centeer and the VA Clinic.

The master development plan incorporates retail, residential rental apartments, senior housing, professional office space, and medical offices to support hospital services, TRICARE (military family medical insurance) providers, medical suppliers, training and educational facilities, mixed-use, and veterans senior housing.

John Infantino Federal lost that project in 2010. Here is an excerpt from an article about John Infantino Federal loosing that project:

Fort Bliss project lease canceled
By Vic Kolenc \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted:   07/16/2010 12:00:00 AM MDT

EL PASO -- A proposed $100 million-plus housing, office and retail project planned for 93 acres at Fort Bliss apparently is dead.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers canceled the 50-year lease on the Fort Bliss property with Federal Development, a Washington, D.C., company.

John Infantino, CEO of Federal Development, said he was not aware the lease had been canceled.

"We are contesting it if they say they are terminating it," he said in a phone interview.

Infantino said he had secured financing for the project. He said he had letters of commitment for $48.7 million from the New York office of Morgan Keegan, an investment firm based in Memphis, and the Dallas office of Raymond James Financial, a financial services company. That money would finance the project's first phase of 400 apartment units, he said.

The Villages at Beaumont would have provided about 1,000 apartment units, offices and retail space in an area where historic but dilapidated buildings stand. Part of the project included restoring some of the buildings. Last October, Infantino said that the company wanted to deliver the first 500 apartment units by the end of 2011.

Jean Offutt, a spokeswoman for Fort Bliss, said if the project was built as planned, "it would have made a big difference in providing housing for our soldiers and families.

An earlier article contains info on the scheduled beginning of the project:

The Villages at Beaumont: Project to fuel Fort Bliss growth
By Vic Kolenc / El Paso Times
Posted:   05/02/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT

EL PASO -- A Washington, D.C., company is scheduled to begin work in June on a $200 million project that will transform a historic, but dilapidated 93 acres of Fort Bliss property near Beaumont Army Medical Center into a mixed-use development of apartments, offices and stores.

Federal Development, a privately held international real estate development company, plans to build 953 apartment units aimed at Fort Bliss soldiers but open to anyone, 150 apartments for retired military veterans, 404,000 square feet of office space and 114,600 square feet of retail space.

The project, named The Villages at Beaumont, is on land that begins at Dyer and Fred Wilson. It will be built in phases and will take five to 10 years to complete, said John Infantino, Federal Development CEO.

The company in 2003 decided to submit a proposal to the Army for the project because it foresaw expansion opportunities at Fort Bliss, Infantino said. About 50 contractors from around the country competed to develop the project.

In 2006, Federal Development signed a 50-year lease on the property with the Army, with options that could extend the lease an additional 30 years, Infantino said. Besides lease payments, the company will share revenues with the Army, he said.

OK. So here's the legal loophole: Infantino Federal says nothing about them completing that project. Only that they created a set of plans.

The question is: Does Infantino Federal use their website to show people how good they are at making plans for projects (they never complete), just to say they can make you some nifty (but worthless) master plans, or are they using their website to fool potential clients/victims into giving them monies for future projects that they are never going to complete?

For a legal question and a moral question, there may be two different answers.

Note: The May 2009 El Paso Times article is about the beginning of the project. That project had been in planning stages since at least 2003. The lease was signed in 2006. During that time period, here in Baltimore, Maryland, John Infantino Federal was 'working' on a similar project - for our local Fort Howard VAMC Property. He came to us in 2005, created the Bayside at Fort Howard plans, for which there is still an active website with a Priority Application Form for sending in deposits of Bayside rentals, and was fired by the VA in August 2009. Here is an article from our local newspaper:

Veterans Affairs 'dusting off' Fort Howard options Wednesday, 27 April 2010
by Randy Leonard/Dundalk Eagle

Federal Development, headed by John Infantino, lost its enhanced-use lease agreement in August after the VA determined that little had been done on the project over the four years that the company was involved with the property.

The company had disputed a determination from the VA that the project would be subject to tax and needed to comply with Baltimore County regulations, limiting the project to about 560 units

AND NOW!! IF YOU ARE NOT YET SO ANGRY YOU CAN'T SEE STRAIGHT?! Here is a link to Infantino Federal's still active website with a downloadable pdf document full of photos for Ft. Howard's Nov. 2006 groundbreaking ceremony. There's plenty of powerful politicians and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs officials aboard for it- with John Infantino Federal right in there with them in a bunch of shots:

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