A trust managing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s development business continued to make new real estate transactions last year, according to new financial disclosure forms filed by the governor.
Hogan now has an ownership interest in 43 limited liability companies — including four new companies formed since he last filed his forms in 2018.
The governor's four new LLCs are: Becker Building Company LLC, of which he owns 24.5%; Braveheart Land LLC, of which he owns 13.3%; Cool Hand Partners LLC, of which he owns 20%; and Neale Drive LLC, of which he owns 12.5%.
The Becker Building Company’s resident agent is Joseph Welty of Frederick. Neale Drive LLC’s resident agent is David Berg of Owings Mills. The resident agent for Braveheart Land LLC and Cool Hand Partners LLC is Bryan M. Hyre of Glen Burnie.
The resident agents either declined to comment or did not return calls seeking comment. The Hogan companies also did not respond to a request for comment.
Little information exists online about Braveheart Land LLC or Cool Hand Partners LLC, but the other two companies appear to be involved in major real estate transactions.
A Neale Drive LLC that shares an address with Berg bought 20 acres of land in the Prince George’s County town of Brandywine in 2018 for $1.25 million, according to state property records.
A Becker Building Company LLC is working on a 50-acre project in Frederick County to build 183 townhomes, and 67 single-family homes. Construction is planned to begin in 2020, according to documents from the city of Frederick.
Hogan is the founder of the Annapolis-based Hogan Companies, which has completed more than $2 billion in real estate deals since 1985 and has continued to thrive since Hogan took office in 2015.
The governor has stepped aside from running the company and turned his assets over to be managed by a trust. Hogan Companies is now run by the governor’s younger brother, Timothy Hogan.
The governor has pledged to have no input with the three trustees who manage his assets, though he can receive some information on his company’s finances and real estate dealings, according to a trust agreement approved by the State Ethics Commission.
The commission approved a trust agreement in April 2016 to govern how the three trustees — all of whom used to work for Hogan — would manage his dozens of real estate holdings.
The commission granted a “financial interest exemption” that allows the governor to maintain ownership of real estate projects and permits the trustees to provide the governor and his accountant details on how much money he’s making.
In a 2016 letter to the state ethics commission, Hogan laid out the parameters of his trust agreement, saying it “includes some of the safeguards generally found in blind trusts.” But he said he still had “continuing interests in active and ongoing businesses” that can’t be put in a blind trust like stock or other investments.
Last year, Hogan released tax returns that show he’s earned about $2.4 million — mostly from his real estate business — while governor. He has not released tax returns for his fourth year in office.
On Hogan’s financial disclosure forms this year, he wrote that his real estate company does business with the state, because it is regulated by state agencies, and is “possibly involved with permitting, regulation and contracts with various State and local agencies.”
“All of these interests are held in a trust and the Governor has a Non-Participation Agreement,” Hogan’s form states. “Both the trust and the Non-Participation Agreement have been approved by the State Ethics Commission.”