ESDC Wants Everyone Out of Arena Footprint by May 17

When the judge in the Brooklyn eviction proceeding holds court next Thursday, state lawyers will ask him to order all properties in the arena footprint vacated by no later than May 17, according to Atlantic Yards Report.  Lawyers for the holdouts, however, are hoping to extend the eviction for months. 

The Empire State Development Corp. wants to move quickly so construction of the arena can begin in earnest. Also,  until the properties are vacated, ownership of the Nets can't be transferred from Bruce Ratner to Mikhail Prokhorov.  League officials say that once the state has possession of the arena properties, it will vote on the transfer, probably in a conference call. The Nets are hoping for a transfer in May.

The process took another step forward Thursday when the judge, Abraham Gerges (far right), visited the site, as required by law. The tour will help him assess valuation issues as well as the legitimacy of both sides' arguments. There may have been a pre-figuring of what could happen with evictions early Thursday.  With the judge touring the properties, one of the buidling's former owners forcibly evicted several businesses from a building in the footprint.  Another judge had ruled the businesses were there illegally.  Sheriff's officers used crowbars to break in and forced businesses to quickly pack up and leave.

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