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Ownership Transfer Could Slip To May; Mass Protest Is Planned

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via <a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/freddys5.07.jpg">blogs.villagevoice.com</a>
via blogs.villagevoice.com

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said this week that the transfer of ownership from Bruce Ratner to Mikhail Prokhorov appeared to be on track, and possibly could be voted on at the NBA Board of Governors meeting on April 16.  But a reading of how evictions work seems to indicate that deadline could slip. Indeed, Nets officials are now starting to think the NBA won't get to vote on Prokhorov til late April or, more likely, early May. 

The issue relates to a clause in the contract between state on one hand and Ratner and Prokhorov on the other.  It  requires all properties in the Barclays Center footprint to be "vacated", that is empty, before the arena lease can be drawn up.  The lease is the final step in the Nets sale. 

Although the ESDC has told those living in the footprint they must leave by April 3, most are unlikely to do so.  The judge in the case can order an eviction at that point, authorizing officials to enforce his order.  However,  once an eviction order is issued, the judge can extend the deadline on a case-by-case basis, giving residents more time to relocate before authorities show up to seize their property.  That process will take time, an ESDC spokesman told the Brooklyn Downtown Star, without saying how much time.

Meanwhile, a  protest leader at Freddy's Bar says he's contacted eminent domain critics around the country hoping to raise an army of 6,000 protesters to stop authorities from seizing the bar. He adds he's willing to go to jail if need be. "Its going to be a big standoff," he promises.