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Judge Sets New Foreclosure Deadline For Florida Arena

TAMPA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A federal judge has approved Schroeder-Manatee Ranch to move ahead with plans to proceed with a foreclosure sale on an partially-built hockey arena.

The $70 million arena has languished in limbo for more than 5 years after the developers, DVA Arena LLC, ran into financing problems. DVA Arena LLC was facing a $60,000 interest payment and the judge denied their request for more time to secure funding and told the SMR attorney to proceed promptly with a foreclosure sale, the Bradenton Herald reported.

Things nearly came to a head for DVA Arena in July when they narrowly avoided a foreclosure sale by filing for bankruptcy protection but their failure to subsequently come up with money for interest payments or even to put forth a plan for the completion of the facility induced SMR to request that bankruptcy protection be removed.

While the judge sided with SMR, she didn't rule out any options for DVA Arena, noting that she'd review the matter if DVA came up with some money before the November 17th auction date. SMR has indicated that they intend to bid on the site and the arena's construction company has expressed interest as well. Both parties appear to be interested in seeing the facility completed.

Our objective is to see that the facility is built," SMR's chief counsel Dan Perka told the Bradenton Herald "If they are willing to do it, that will be perfectly acceptable to us. We just want to make sure the arena is developed."

"Recent changes in our economy which resulted in a drastic reduction in the value of securities and increased difficulty liquidating assets quickly, required DVA Arena LLC to readjust its strategy for completion of the hockey arena in Lakewood Ranch," DVA chairman Sal Diaz-Verson said in a statement. "We remain fully committed to bringing a world class entertainment complex to southwest Florida, and fully expect to disclose details of a plan to do so in 30 days." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers