Playing Every Angle
Marostica's Conflicting Roles In ACE
Loveland - April 4, 2011

Loveland developer Don Marostica hopes to have his company, Loveland Commercial LLC, win Loveland’s internal RFP (Request
for Proposal) to exclusively negotiate receiving city subsidies to develop the aerospace and clean energy park (ACE) at Loveland’
s now vacant Agilent Campus in conjunction with the city’s offering to CAMT (Colorado Association for Manufacturing and

CAMT has been searching for a host city for their project after signing
an unfunded agreement with NASA last year for
cooperation in clustering companies interested in commercializing government technologies.  Last January CAMT released a
request for proposals for cities interested in CAMT locating the park in their communities.  While CAMT has stated they cannot
invest funds into the project
their first objective is to own the land the city proposed for the project and have local taxpayers
fund their vision of the "ACE" Project. ACE roughly stands for Aerospace Clean Energy Manufacturing and Innovation Park.  
CAMT hopes to draw as many as 100 small companies to the industrial cluster.

CAMT, a non-profit trade association, is not funding the project but hopes to entice local communities to invest the tax dollars
necessary to acquire land and build the ACE Project facilities in several cities.  In time, CAMT hopes to draw various high-tech
companies to the ACE Parks as tenants where one NASA "ambassador" will assist companies attempting to commercialize NASA
and other government technologies.  Loveland has been the most vocal proponent of CAMT's vision along the Front Range.

Documents provided to developers bidding to work with Loveland contemplate the city buying the Agilent property, reselling
most of it to the winning bidder (developer) at a deep discount, financing the loan, and even "leasing" back any vacant space for
the same cost as the city's low interest rate on the loan among other subsidies.  In the end, the developer should have about $3.5
million from the city interest free for 10 years plus ownership of the Agilent Campus.  Five companies are still in the running for
the city's bidding process.

Some of those developers, however, are angry over Marostica’s multiple and conflicting roles in the city, state and CAMT.  
Working both a consultant to CAMT and now developer competing to win Loveland's subsidy to develop the project with his own
company, Loveland Commercial.  Marostica has now worked every angle and on every side of the ACE Project.

Marostica originally worked on the 'ACE Project' from the governor’s office, as a consultant for CAMT after leaving that position,
as an unofficial advisor to Loveland and now as a bidder for the City of Loveland proposed subsidy of the project.  

Marostica and his business partner, Eric Holsapple, tried to parlay Marostica's knowledge of the project and relationship with
CAMT's CEO Elaine Thorndike into an exclusive arrangement with the City of Loveland for their company last year.  This attempt
failed after Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill rejected Loveland Commercial's condescending demands by Holsappale city
needed Loveland Commercial LLC and Marostica especially to win ACE for Loveland.   Instead, Cahill directed staff to create the
current bidding process to evaluate various potential developers for the project.  The winning bidder will receive the right to
negotiate exclusively with the City of Loveland for six months.  All the bidders have expressed an interest in proceeding with the
redevelopment of the Agilent Campus as proposed by the city even if CAMT fails to choose Loveland.

Marostica's 'Special' Relationship

In a previous story, LovelandPolitics referred to Marostica’s “special” relationship with CAMT's leader Elaine Thorndike that
created rumors throughout Loveland’s city hall that our story inferred they were somehow romantically involved.  That is not
what was meant by the use of the term "special" but instead Marostica’s previous role as the consultant for CAMT on selecting a
site and pouring through volumes of proprietary data submitted to CAMT by interested parties.  Despite recent attempts to deny
Marostica ever had an official role with CAMT, Marostica's role with CAMT is well known and documented in the press interviews
he gave following his departure in January from Governor Ritter's office.

Marostica has promoted his special connection to Thorndike to Loveland officials openly and is even using Thorndike as his
primary reference for his Loveland Commercial LLC's February 28, 2011 official bid response to the city's RFP.  No word on
whether Thorndike agreed to serve as Loveland Commercial LLC's primary reference for their bid submittal since Loveland is
allowing Thorndike a role in choosing the winning bidder.

In his roles both as project consultant and gubernatorial aid, Marostica gained valuable insight into the strategies of various
cities including what properties they chose to offer for the ACE Project and what terms and conditions they were willing to
accept at that time.  As an advisor and confidant to Thorndike, Marostica created a special working relationship he later tried to
leverage into Loveland Commercial LLC's failed attempts to get an exclusive arrangement with the City of Loveland on the ACE
Project as described above.

In January,
The Boulder County Business Report quoted Marostica regarding his impression of various sites he visited in
Broomfield, Longmont and Loveland on behalf of CAMT.  At the time, Marostica was being presented as the “consultant” for
CAMT in making their site selection.  Last year CAMT signed an exclusive development agreement with one company that they
later abandoned but haven’t disclosed the name of that company.  In the meantime, Marostica became CAMT’s public go-to
expert regarding available sites between Boulder and Loveland earlier this year most of which he visited personally.  When
Marostica transitioned from CAMT consultant to Loveland bidder isn't clear as it appears he may have been acting in both roles
simultaneously for a period of time.

According to the
Boulder County Business Report last January,

CAMT will continue to work with Don Marostica, the former executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic
Development and International Trade. Marostica helped CAMT and NASA reach their agreement while at the office, but he
was not retained in that position when Gov. John Hickenlooper took office Jan. 11. Marostica will act as a consultant.”

Throughout the same article Marostica is quoted describing the various eligible properties and CAMT’s impression of those
sites.  As an example,

“Among the undeveloped sites, according to Marosotica, is the 935-acre North Park development in Broomfield, which is
located near the northwest corner of the Interstate 25-Northwest Parkway junction. The mixed-use project, which is being
developed by Loveland-based McWhinney, will include space for residential, office and retail buildings, and a 175-acre
applied research park remains part of the plan.”

Conflict of Interest?

Curiously, Loveland’s only conflict of interest provision in the city's RFP for bidders prohibits any developer involved in offerings
from other cities from bidding with Loveland but made an exception for Loveland based McWhinney.  LovelandPolitics has been
informed McWhinney is participating in both the Broomfield bid for CAMT’s ACE Project and also now as one of five bidders in
Loveland to redevelop the old Agilent campus off Taft Ave for the ACE Project.  Nothing in the conflict of interest clause prohibits
city employees, CAMT consultants or others with access to proprietary data of other proposed sites from submitting a bid to the

Loveland’s peculiar approach has drawn anger from other communities interested in the project.  Even former Governor Ritter
staff have expressed concern over Marostica’s quick transition from gubernatorial aid to project consultant and now bidder
without running into any conflict of interest or ethical dilemmas with City of Loveland, CAMT or the State of Colorado.

View From Boulder & Greeley

While the press has regularly reported a number of communities were bidding for ACE -- a second look reveals that some simply
said no from the beginning on CAMT's proposed terms despite what was being reported by CAMT or local media.

Boulder’s Executive Director Francis Draper has been skeptical from the beginning especially after learning CAMT is looking for
the city to finance both the project and CAMT’s costs of participation.  He told the
Boulder County Business Journal last January,
I think it's a long shot, but in the long run it could work out."  Draper also expressed skepticism over CAMT's projections for
the number of tenants and jobs the project would draw.

Thorndike has pointed to twelve companies her group identified as potential tenants for the project but all are out of state
companies so presumably not members of her association.  CAMT has yet to release the names of these twelve companies or any
specifics regarding the future tenants the trade association can bring to the project.  This ambiguity is what caused a number of
bidders for Loveland’s Agilent Campus ACE proposal to push-back on granting Thorndike’s CAMT an automatic 10% kickback as
suggested by the city from all future leases in the project.

Loveland appears to be offering the 10% kickback as an alternative to giving CAMT direct ownership of the property.  CAMT's
first interest has been to seek ownership of the property used for the ACE Project but without providing any financial
contributions most cities have been unwilling to agree.

Greeley is said to have avoided the project from the beginning despite being listed in Loveland media as a potential competitor
for the site.  According to sources in Greeley, the council early considered the project and decided not to compete given the fact
CAMT wanted Greeley to pay the costs of the project.  Greeley did finally submit two potential sites for consideration but only
agreed to offer the normal incentives the city provides for developing those areas.  One source within Greeley told
"They were making so much noise we had to bid but nobody on the council is going to just donate property
to CAMT because they might bring jobs."

A member of Loveland’s City Council reported to LovelandPolitics off-the-record that the 10% kickback for CAMT was the result
of a deal Marostica already brokered with CAMT’s Thorndike to assure Loveland is selected as the site for the project.  For the
record, CAMT has not officially asked for any kickbacks from the various cities but instead is asking for ownership of the property.

Loveland bidders who are being told the 10% kickback is necessary have asked that CAMT be compensated commensurate with
both the risk and contribution the trade association is willing to make to the project.  As one bidder told LovelandPolitics,
wouldn’t mind if they can show us how they will bring profitable tenants to the project using their own money instead of

Marostica As Governor Representative

Longmont Morning Call  
see complete article)
December 22, 2010

"Everyone involved is under a strict non-disclosure
clause from NASA, Marostica told the [Longmont]
council, which is why he didn’t have a lot of new
information to report."

Greeley Tribune
see complete article)
January 10, 2011

“I’ve been very careful … very careful that everybody
has their fair chance,” Marostica said. “I do know
they’re moving forward (in Loveland), but others are
very interested as well.”

Marostica As CAMT Representative

Boulder Valley Business Report
see complete story)
January 21, 2011

CAMT will continue to work with Don Marostica, the
former executive director of the Colorado Office of
Economic Development and International Trade.
Marostica helped CAMT and NASA reach their
agreement while at the office, but he was not retained
in that position when Gov. John Hickenlooper took
office Jan. 11. Marostica will act as a consultant.

Marostica said close to 35 sites had been pitched as
possible homes for the manufacturing park. About
two-thirds were vacant "greenfield" sites, the rest
"brownfield" redevelopment sites.

Marostica As Developer & Bidder

Loveland Reporter-Herald
see complete story)
March 5, 2011

“I don’t know where they’re getting that,” said
Marostica, founder and partner in Loveland
Commercial LLC, which also submitted a development
proposal this week.