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Prokhorov to buy 85% stake in Nassau Coliseum operating company; purchase of Nets/Barclays coming soon?

It was inevitable, right? And so is the next step.

Two Long Island publications broke the news that Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov is buying an 85% stake in the company renovating the Nassau Coliseum and building the associated retail and entertainment complex. (The property is owned by Nassau County.) Terms were undisclosed.

Note that Prokhorov already had an unspecified share of Nassau Events Center, led by Forest City Ratner, and parent Forest City Enterprises, about to convert to a real estate investment trust by 2016, is eager to shed "non-core assets."

Surely soon will come Prokhorov's purchase of the remaining 20% share of the Brooklyn Nets controlled by Forest City Enterprises and the latter's 55% share of the Barclays Center operating company.

And that will again raise the question: would public agencies have been so eager to do the various deals if they knew the beneficiary was a Russian billionaire?

The news emerges

The news was first broken by Long Island Business News, Coliseum groundbreaking next week; arena may be sold to Russians, which noted:
Construction on the new arena, promised to start in August [see my coverage], has been delayed, though Nassau Events Center, the Forest City Ratner Companies-controlled redevelopment entity, has conducted some environmental testing and other “pre-demolition” activities at the site.
Newsday, in Nets owner takes controlling stake in Coliseum redevelopment company, later produced a more comprehensive report:
Forest City Ratner executive chairman Bruce Ratner will maintain a 15 percent ownership in NEC and will remain the lead developer on the Coliseum project, along with Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, according to company spokeswoman Ashley Cotton. Ratner and Yormark would continue to manage the arena with Onexim after it reopens.
Cotton told Newsday "Onexim will maintain Ratner's vision for the property and will abide by the terms of the lease agreement with the county." 

Newsday reported that the Nassau County executive says no legislative approval is needed for the lease revision, while the county comptroller tweeted that it was required.

Newsday quoted one real estate expert as saying it's unclear if the new owners can revise development efforts.

With Atlantic Yards, at least, the lesson is that everything is open to revision.

Newsday reported that a Nets D-League team will got to the Coliseum for the 2017-18 season after playing next year at Barclays, while a promised--and required by the Coliseum lease--deal to bring a minor league hockey team is still unresolved. 

The arena renovation is supposed to be finished by December 2016.