Whether they came up with him the hard way or happened along in later years, Nick Antonelli's business associates are some of his most precious resources - and often his closest friends.
His principal partner, Kingdon Gould Jr. was decidedly not one of the pals from the hard days on De-Sales Street. The heir to the Gould railroad fortune was everything Antonelli was not when the two first met in 1951: a young millionaire, Yale law school graduate and promising Washington lawyer.
But each had something to offer the other according to associates of both men.
"As far as I'm concerned, with Kingdon and Nick it's know-how with Nick and money with Kingdon," was the way one Antonelli friend described the relationship. "I always heard it was Kingdon Gould who heard about Nick and approached him about joining together in business."
Which of them initiated their first joint business deal is unclear, but the partnership that evolved became a mutually beneficial arrangement with one major business guideline.
"Nick once told me that if Gould finds something, he presents it to Nick and Jack (John Lyon, a third partner and general manager of PMI, the parking empire Gould and Antonelli created)," according to a former associate, "Basically, they have an option to buy in. If they decide they don't want to, he may go ahead anyway."
More like ANtonelli in background was Ulysses (Blackie) Auger, who was operating a hot stand in the city's industrial West End when, in the early 1950's, he met Antonelli's who was buying property in the area. The two men soon invested together in a used car lot in Virginia.
Antonelli and Auger joined in numerous other business deals, and Antonelli was an early partner in some of Auger's ventures in restaurants, where Auger made his name and fortune. Combinations of Antonelli's PMI car lots and AUger's restaurants, (Blackie's House of Beef and others beginning with the word "Black") now dot the city.
Angelo Puglisi, a real estate broker, is another longtime friend of Antonelli who is less well known than some of his other business associates.
"Angelo is more or less the guy doing the leg work" for much on Antonelli's real estate business, according to a knowledgeable former associate of both men. "Even though he may buy the ground initially, he's for sure using Nick's money."
"Nick buils his empire around people," said the former Antonelli associate, who is now involved in a dispute with Antonelli. "But he's dominant, he's almighty God."
Among Antonell's other close or frequent business associates are:
John W. Lyon - an early Antonelli associate who now runs PMI as its general manager and operates his own excavation and construction company. For years Lyon also served as president of the Washington Parking Association, an Antonelli lobbying group that successfully fought in Congress in the mid-1960s to stop construction of public lots and garages here.
Robert H. SMith - who, as head of the Charles E. Smith Co., like his father before him, is a frequent partner of Antonelli in the real estate ventures. The Smith firm is the city's largest real estate development, leasing and management company, building such huge complexes as Crystal CIty in Arlngton, but is not a real rival to Antonelli because of their business alliance and friendship.
Leonard (Bud) Doggett - by numerous accounts, Antonelli's contact with D. C. Mayor Walter E. Washington, (who is a close friend of DOggett), city administrator Julius Dugas and the powerful Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade. Doggett is alsoin the parking business, but his lots are located mostly in Georgetown and other parts of the city where PMI does little business. Each has a free pass ot the other's lots, according to one knowledgeable source.
Louis Palladini - Antonelli's friend at the Madison National Bank, which was organized by Antonelli and his close associates. Palladini, who was president of Madison until recently, helped decide who received his bank's loans and under what terms. This power was important to Antonelli, who is still a director and major stockholder at Madison.
Mitchell Balnkstein - a Harvard-educated lawyer who is Antonelli's corporate attorney. He was hired by PMI in 1965 after working in the office of the chief counsel of the INternal Revenue Service. Blankstein is now a key figure in Antonelli's business activities, often serves as secretary-treasurer of Antonelli corporations and holds small amounts of stock in many of his boss's enterprises.
William G. Barr - a former executive director of the National Parking Association and also instrumental in the successful lobbying against congressional approval of public parking lots here. Barr and Antonelli have invested in various enterprises together, including a tomato and a cucumber plantation in the Bahamas and several apartment complexes in the Chicago area. A former state representative from Joliet III., Barr lost his right leg in 1970 when a bomb of unknown origin exploded in his car as he tried to start the engine outside his Joilet apartment. Acorrding to a knowledgeable source, Antonelli's distress over the incident, believed to have grown out of a domestic dispute, was heightened when one of the horses Antonelli owned was found dead the same day. Worried about the possible significance of both events, he went into hiding for tow days, then flew to Chicago to visit Barr in the hospital.
Lawrence A. Sinclitico - a very close friend who plays a cards with Antonelli. Sinclitico is also an agent for the Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co., the firm that does much of Antonelli's real estate title work. Sinclitico also has been helpful in other ways. IN 1976, he served as go-between and loan trustee for Antonelli and mayoral aide Joseph Yeldell when the latter obtained a loan that federal prosecutors have since determined was made by Antonelli.
As an investor in numerous partnerships and business undertakings. Antonelli has built a network of other contacts with powerful figures in the city's business and legal community. Over the years, his co-investors have included federal judges, attorneys with Washington's leading law firms, bankers and other major developers.
Some od these partners or business associates have included builder-investor William Cohen, who built a fortune from a trash-hauling business; U. S. District Court Judge David Bazelon; lawyer Carolyn Agger Fortas; of the firm Arnold, Porter & Fortas; builder Stanley Bender of the Blake Construction Co., Connecticut Sen.Abraham Ribicoff; Rabbi Stanley Rabinowitz; former U. N. Ambassador and Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg; and Belford Lawson, a prominent of black attorney on the board of Madison National Bank and the c & p Telephone Co.