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Soloviev Group Appoints Hon. Michael Balboni as Safety and Security Advisor for Freedom Plaza

NEW YORK, March 19, 2024 – Soloviev Group, a leader in socially responsible and environmentally sustainable development, has appointed Hon. Michael Balboni, former Deputy Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security Advisor for New York State who serves as President and Managing Director of RedLand Strategies, to the role of Safety and Security Advisor for Freedom Plaza.

Casino Life News | The mixed-use development and publicly accessible open space project spans more than six-acres from 38th to 41st Street east of First Avenue and is being developed in partnership with global entertainment owner and operator Mohegan.

"We are honored to add Michael Balboni’s wealth of knowledge and deep expertise to our team,” said Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group. "We appreciate the input that we have received from the community and prioritize public safety above all else. Michael’s experience, complemented by the robust protocols and industry-leading practices established by Mohegan, will position Freedom Plaza as a secure and thriving community."

In this role, Mr. Balboni will work closely with the Freedom Plaza leadership team to advance the project’s community-first commitment that prioritizes public safety and meaningful initiatives that enhance quality of life in the local and surrounding area. His responsibilities will include risk assessment, emergency preparedness planning, security staffing, and collaboration with local law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe and secure environment.

Image: Michael Balboni, Safety and Security Advisor,  Freedom Plaza

Mr. Balboni’s respected public service career began with his 1990 election to the New York State Assembly, where he was re-elected four times before winning a seat in the New York State Senate in 1997. In 2006, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Advisor for New York State, responsible for the oversight of 13 state agencies, including the State Police, Office of Homeland Security, Division of Criminal Justice Services, Department of Corrections, and the Division of Parole. From 2017 through 2023, Mr. Balboni was appointed by the NYS Governor and confirmed by the NYS Senate to serve as Chair of the Cyber and Physical Security Committee to the New York Power Authority’s Board of Trustees.

“Joining the Soloviev Group and Mohegan in their effort to secure the New York downstate gaming license for Freedom Plaza is a privilege,” said Mr. Balboni. “This is an extraordinary and historic opportunity to help stimulate local economic growth and development through unprecedented financial and community investment, with safety and public benefit firmly at the forefront. I look forward to working with this incredible team to bring Freedom Plaza to fruition.”

In addition to his service as an elected official, Mr. Balboni has held numerous leadership positions, including Security Chair for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; Chairman of the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs; Advisor to the Homeland Security Transition team for President Barack Obama; and the Governor’s representative to the “Securing the Cities” program, the Nuclear Notification Officer for the Governor’s office; among others.

Now in the private sector, Mr. Balboni works with clients from established firms, global corporations, municipalities, and healthcare providers as well as those in the financial, security, and transportation industries. He also currently serves as the Executive Director of the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association, a trade association providing regulatory compliance and life-safety services to more than 80 nursing homes in the NYC metropolitan area.

Mohegan and the Soloviev Group, share a vision to deliver on fundamentals that strengthen local communities, including the creation of 4.77 acres of publicly accessible landscaped open space, new residential housing with 513 units designated as affordable, a 1,251-room world-class hotel and conference center, as well as thousands of well-paying union jobs, and an annual commitment to local revenue reinvestment. To date, Soloviev Group has garnered support from more than 10,000 Manhattan residents and 250 local small businesses for its community-driven, mixed-use development and publicly accessible open space plan, Freedom Plaza.

About Soloviev Group

Unwavering in its commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, the Soloviev Group brings four generations of successful development across community-focused verticals, including hospitality, residential and commercial development, agriculture, energy, logistics and philanthropy. The firm’s most recent project, Freedom Plaza will encompass more than six-acres on Manhattan’s East Side from 38th to 41st Street east of First Avenue and is committed to helping New York City thrive. The mixed-use development will feature 4.77 acres of publicly accessible green space; a world-class hotel; locally oriented retail and an array of shopping and dining options; a museum and community center dedicated to democracy; two residential towers with 513 units of affordable housing; and a proposed New York Gaming Facility license in partnership with global leader, Mohegan. For more information, visit freedomplaza.nyc.

About Mohegan

Mohegan is the owner, developer, and manager of premier entertainment resorts in the United States, Canada, and Northern Asia. Mohegan’s U.S. operations include resorts in Connecticut, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada; Canadian operations are based in Niagara Falls; and Mohegan Inspire is located in Incheon, South Korea. The brand’s iGaming division, Mohegan Digital, provides cutting-edge online gaming solutions to Mohegan’s loyal fan base and meets the digital needs of customers on a global scale. Mohegan is owner and operator of Connecticut Sun, a professional basketball team in the WNBA. For more information, visit mohegangaming.com.