Monday, September 28, 2009

Finally, Marty Markowitz embraces the Prokhorov purchase of the Nets and the arena

It took a little while--and an anonymously sourced New York Post story saying he was steamed and embarrassed--but Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz now says he's happy Russian mogul Mikhail Prokhorov is buying 80% of the Nets and 45% of the Barclays Center.

The Post reports:
"Brooklyn is the Russian capital of America, so Mr. Prokhorov will feel right at home here, and I have been assured he will put the interests of Brooklyn first when it comes to making [the planned] Barclays Center and its benefits to Brooklyn a reality," Markowitz told the Post.


Note that Markowitz is not talking about the project's benefits to Brooklyn, because the timetable is very murky.

As for benefits to Brooklyn, no one's quite toted them up. We know that the New York City Independent Budget Office says the arena would be a net loss for the city.

Would the increase in local retail spending and opportunity to use the arena for, say, Hasidic weddings, make up for the ongoing blight of interim surface parking? Markowitz seems to think so.

But he sure doesn't have a hotline to the incoming Nets owner the way he's had with Bruce Ratner. (Or is that vice versa, as the New Yorker suggested?)

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