American Dream Discussion Thread

P. 22: April 2019 opening is announced
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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby Jew » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:10 pm

Glad this project is coming back to life. It was definitely weird seeing a giant empty mall next to the Meadowlands.
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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby screaminkid2005 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:31 pm

I'm really excited to see finally get finished! We need a decent indoor amusement park up here in the northeast!

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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby Rollercoaster Rider » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:14 am

screaminkid2005 wrote:I'm really excited to see finally get finished! We need a decent indoor amusement park up here in the northeast!



Pretty much everywhere in the US except for Vegas and Minnesota could use decent indoor parks.
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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:45 pm

Here is the latest article on the American Dream Complex. I have summarized the key findings in the article.

1 - The developer has reached an agreement with the unions to restart the project
2 - The lawsuit between the Jets/Giants football teams was settles out of court and the complex will be allowed to operate on days when those NFL Teams play at home.
3 - The complex is expected to open in fall of 2016 with the waterpark and a Hollywood themed amusement park. At least it sounds like the parks will open at the same time.

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local/new_jersey&id=9519368

American Dream megamall project renewed in New Jersey
April 28, 2014 06:06 PM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The developer of a megamall at the Meadowlands sports complex signed a union agreement Monday to jumpstart work on the long-delayed project, then addressed the question on the minds of anyone who has driven past the pastel-hued monstrosity: Will something be done about the exterior Gov. Chris Christie said made the complex "the ugliest damn building in New Jersey and maybe America"?

The governor "was far from alone," said Paul Ghermezian, senior vice president for mall developer Triple Five.

"It's no secret the facade is ugly," Ghermezian said to chuckles from the audience made up mostly of union workers. "We got your tweets, we got your emails, some people managed to get my cell number and texted me directly."

Triple Five, which counts among its properties the Mall of America in Minnesota, recently gained approval from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority for a revamped exterior that replaces the odd mishmash of colored panels with a cleaner design that emphasizes an outdoor look, Ghermezian said. In some areas the complex will feature 80-foot-high glass exteriors.

The $2 billion project featuring a waterpark, Hollywood-themed amusement park, retail and dining is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2016 and is projected to create 9,000 to 10,000 construction jobs, according to Rick Sabato, head of the Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council.

"I'm glad we have been able to work through what has been a really long, arduous and at time maddening process to get to this day," Christie said. "But it's all about the result, and the result is going to be good for the working men and women of New Jersey."

Jettisoning the quirky exterior will symbolize a new phase for a project that was approved more than 10 years ago but fell prey to the economic downturn and problems with various developers. Originally known as Xanadu, it was scheduled to open in 2007 but languished for years, partially built, until Triple Five took it over at the end of 2010.

From there it hit more roadblocks. The New York Jets and New York Giants, owners of adjacent MetLife Stadium, sued the developer in 2012, claiming Triple Five didn't get their permission - as required under an earlier agreement - to expand the footprint for the mall from its original design. They also sought to have the mall closed on game days to avoid traffic backups.

Triple Five countersued, accusing the teams of engaging in an illegal campaign to stop the project from being completed.

The parties announced a settlement last month but didn't provide specific details. Tony Armlin, Triple Five's vice president for development and construction, said Monday the complex definitely will be on open on game days thanks to a new traffic-management and parking plan.

No representatives of the teams were introduced or mentioned at the news conference, and a spokeswoman for the teams didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.
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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby Ccron10 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:43 pm

Looks like work had restarted over the Summer and they are aiming for opening it in Fall 2016.
http://www.rew-online.com/2014/12/03/mega-mall-developers-dreaming-of-2016-opening/
Mega-mall developers dreaming of 2016 opening

By Holly Dutton
New Jersey’s American Dream is still on its way to coming true.

The mega-mall entertainment and shopping complex known as American Dream at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ, is making progress and still anticipating a Fall 2016 opening.

The infamous façade of the building, visible from the New Jersey Turnpike, which NJ governor Chris Christie famously referred to as “the ugliest mall in New Jersey, and maybe America” will soon look much different.

“It is in the process of being changed right now,” said Alan Marcus, a spokesperson for American Dream developer, Triple Five. “There’s a great deal of work going on inside the building as well as on the side of the waterpark and the amusement park.”

Triple Five has been tight-lipped about retailers that have signed with the mall, and would not comment on any aspect of lease negotiations, including rents.

The did say, however, that there has been an “incredible amount of interest” in the entertainment and retail sectors.

“There was a meeting where someone said, ‘Where are we going to fit everyone?’” said Marcus. “It’s very exciting. I’m shocked by the amount of interest.”

The $2 billion years-in-the-making mega-complex is being developed by the family-owned development firm responsible for the Mall of America in Minnesota, and West Edmonton Mall in Canada, which have been open for 20 and 30 years, respectively.
reveal their names.

The demand for retail space at the mall was so high that developers added more retail space to the project, said Ghermezian.

American Dream is slated to have nearly 1.7 million s/f of retail space, 1.1 million s/f of attractions and 150,000 s/f of fine dining and restaurants. Main attractions will include a 639,000 s/f amusement park and waterpark, the world’s tallest “drop ride,” an observation wheel with views of Manhattan, an aquarium, an indoor ski slope and ice rinks, a miniature golf course, a performing arts center, and 400 stores and restaurants.

Ghermezian and his team at Triple Five are spearheading the leasing for American Dream and working with “outside consultantsˮ that include Sinvin, Cushman and Wakefield and RKF.

It has been rumored that brokers and retailers working on American Dream leases have been obliged to sign secrecy clauses that will allow the developer alone to announce any openings.

Developers are projecting 40 million annual visitors to the mega-shopping and entertainment center once it is finally up and running, and the project is expected to generate more than 9,000 jobs, according to Rick Sabato, head of the Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council.

Triple Five took over what was previously called the Xanadu project in 2010 and workers finally returned to the site this summer after signing a Project Labor Agreement in April.

Until the mall developer took over, the project had fumbled its way through three governors and $2 billion before stalling in 2009.

World's tallest drop ride? I have a feeling tallest indoor drop ride might be it as this piece of concept art shows a tall extrusion to part of the indoor amusement park area (but it is concept art though so it might not be true). Glad to hear it is moving again.
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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby EastCoastKid » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:12 pm

I'm really glad to see this coming to fruition! I remember seeing that ugly orange facade years back wondering what would ever happen to the building, and now that it is being transformed, I'm incredibly excited. The place will be packed year round as it is just outside of NYC. It's like MOA on steroids and I love it! :lmao: :b :p
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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby gerstlaueringvar » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:49 pm

Are they seriously going to break the record inside of their own state? :wtf:

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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby coasterbill » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:18 am

I want to get excited about this project but until it opens I'll just assume it's going to be an endless debacle.

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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:17 am

I know this has been out of the news recently, but last month work started again on this project after re-financing and muddling through some more bureaucracy. Projected opening is now 2017.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/american-dream-bonding-amended-1.1357939

State approves East Rutherford's amended Triple Five agreement; parks' foundation progressing
June 18, 2015 By Kelly Nicholaides


The state Local Finance Board approved on June 10 East Rutherford’s amended $125 million change in the financial agreement with developer Triple Five, but it’s unclear whether the borough will have a second reading ordinance on the June 16 meeting agenda to approve the change — which increases the bonds from $550 million to up to $675 million and adds the option of taxable or non-taxable bonds.

Mayor James Cassella said the vote would likely happen in July,

At issue will be whether Triple Five chooses taxable or non-taxable Redevelopment Area Bonds, and corresponding insurance policy to protect the borough from lawsuits by bond holders in case American Dream Meadowlands project fails. Elected officials have been asking for an insurance policy since early 2014. Mayor Cassella said the borough is better off issuing taxable bonds because it takes the burden off of East Rutherford to file complex financial documents every year with regard to post bond-issuance issues, and it would be a big savings for Triple Five.

"Getting insurance for taxable bonds costs considerably less," said Cassella. "Tax exempt bonds cost a lot more to insure, and so it would be a huge saving for Triple Five to choose the taxable bonds, because it’s nowhere near as close to the insurance costs. We’re talking tens of thousands for the taxable bonds and maybe into the millions for non-taxable," said Cassella.

The financial agreement amendment began on May 19 when the governing body introduced an ordinance, 4-3, amending the agreement with Triple Five to raise the bond amount from $550 million to $675 million and provide the option of non-taxable as well as taxable Redevelopment Area Bonds (RABs). Councilmen George Perry, Joel Brizzi, and Michael Homaychak voted yes, and Councilmen Saverio Stallone, Ed Ravettine, and Jeff Lahullier voted no, with Cassella breaking the tie with his yes vote during the May 19 vote. That amended agreement was approved by the state on June 10.

The governing body also voted 4-2 on May 19 to introduce an ordinance to secure the bonds and authorize the execution of the financial agreement for Payments in Lieu of Taxes, with Councilmen Saverio Stallone and Ed Ravettine voting no. The financial agreement has yet to be revealed, and would involve Triple Five using Payment in Lieu of Taxes monies to pay back the bonds. Previous figures in the Financial Agreement discussed in public sessions calls for Triple Five paying $20 million for the new police and court building constructed in anticipation of the project, and approximately $160 million in PILOTs over the course of 20 years, $1 million up front, and a sewerage agreement, officials said.

Triple Five spokesperson Tony Armlin said that the developer will opt for the taxable bond option, and have the alternative, non-taxable bonds choice available. "Our preference is taxable bonds. It’s much better approach for simplicity of execution and structure. It’s less expensive too because the sales transactions cost less. It’s an option that wasn’t really available a few years ago because there wasn’t a market," Armlin explained.

Triple Five has invested $150 million on 23,000 tons of steel and $100 million on 7,000 piles for the foundation, and concrete for the amusement and water parks.

"The project is progressing significantly. Once the framework is in place, there’s opportunity for more work on the exterior, interior and all the electric, drywall, structural work inside. "For the balance of summer we’ll be working on pile caps, and should have structural steel fabricated and received by September, for erection by October," Armlin said.

East Rutherford elected officials have been trying to finalize financial details for two years since Triple Five took over the project, which had already approximately $1.3 million invested from Mills in the ill-fated Xanadu mall. Rebranded by Triple Five in 2010, the American Dream Meadowlands plan calls for an indoor water park and amusement park, retail and entertainment. The construction would help some of the 300,000 union building trade members in New Jersey, with 3,000 in the IBEW Local 164 electricians alone, and is expected to bring up to 2,000 workers on site by 2016 — with a new target date of opening as 2017.

Triple Five needs up to $2.5 billion in financing to complete American Dream Meadowlands, through a complex funding combination of bonds, a portion of sales tax and PILOTs and state Economic Development funding. The plan is for Triple Five to make PILOT payments to East Rutherford, under the RAB law, whereby the financial agreement together with the PILOTs paid will secure non-recourse RABs. "Proceeds will be used to make disbursements to the developer for project costs, pay the borough a sum certain to retire outstanding debt of the borough related to the project and fund borough purposes, establish reserves, if any, under an indenture of trust by and between the borough and a financial institution, acting as trustee for the RAB owners and pay costs of issuance for RABs," the ordinance reads.
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Re: American Dream (Xanadu) Meadowlands Discussion Thread

Postby robbalvey » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:59 am

I feel like I've heard "work is starting again on this project for a new opening date..." so many times that I honestly don't buy any of it. I'll believe it when it opens.

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