Aronoff's Florida land is under consideration because the Red Sox want a new complex with a stadium and practice field. In their current situation, the Red Sox play their games in downtown Fort Myers at City of Palms Park but hold early-spring workouts several miles away.
However, nothing is ever quite that easy. And, neither Aronoff or the two-square miles of wetlands property which sits along Interstate 75 are without controversy
See, both are at the center of a federal corruption investigation involving U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-AK) who earmarked $10 million for a Coconut Road interchange study after a 2005 Estero-area fundraiser, which Aronoff attended, netting Young about $40,000.
Capitol Hill Lobbyist Richard Alcalde (Potomac Partners DC) is also at the heart of the Coconut Road earmark investigation. Alcalde represented Aronoff's Landon Companies and Alcalde has been identified as one of a select group of "A-Team" lobbyists who are especially close to Young.
Alcalde represents another Michigan developer, Michael J. Malik, Sr., and Malik's casino gaming affiliate MJM Enterprises. Malik and a partner, Mrs. Marian Ilitch, are behind plans to advance several Indian casinos across the country. Alcalde represents one of their Native American partners as well, the Shinnecock Indian Nation of New York.
Like Aronoff, Malik and the Ilitch family have contributed and raised thousands for Rep. Young's committees and flown him around in their private aircraft; and in return, Young has helped advance plans they back for an Indian casino in Port Huron, Michigan.
And there's another Major League Baseball (MLB) connection too. Marian's husband, Mike Ilitch, owns the Detroit Tigers.