Asked about the Russian mafia, Alex Troyanovsky smiled and shook his head, like someone made to repeatedly explain that the world is round.

“There is no Russian mafia here, period,” Troyanovsky said. “It’s a made-up image.”

By “here” he means anywhere but in Russia and in Brooklyn, N.Y. However, accusations of being part of the mafia is something most wealthy Russian families in the U.S. endure, he said.

Named by the Journal as Co-Villager of the Year in 2004 with architect John Schiess for the numerous projects they had planned (and continue to work on), Troyanovsky was unable to be reached for comment at that time.

The Northbrook resident doesn’t appear at public meetings, rarely comments to newspapers, preferring to have Schiess and other members of his team represent him. That, along with the name and slight accent he speaks with, likely led to some knowing him only as “The Russian,” a moniker Troyanovsky embraces.

He first came to the U.S. in 1989, but had no money and became bored playing tennis and ice hockey. Things were changing in Russia, so he returned to Moscow in 1992 and started an international car trading business.

Still living in the U.S., Troyanovsky and a partner later started what he described as the second-largest construction company in Russia. He tired of the travel, his family was here, and he preferred the U.S.

So, he sold out to his partner and concentrated on projects in the Chicago area, eventually buying a mortgage company and a title company.

Now the president of Regency Development Group LLC, he still plays hockey, although not at the semi-pro level, as Wednesday Journal reported last year.

Troyanovsky oozes calm confidence, but there is a bit of gangster in him, too, even if it’s not Russian. When one of his three cell phones goes off, it’s a song by rapper 50 Cent. Troyanovsky blushes at this, explaining that he, his Oak Park Realtor Pat McGowan and their 20-year-old kids all go to hip-hop concerts together.

?#34;Drew Carter

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