American Dream: 16 years and counting

American Dream: 16 years and counting

21 Haziran 2018 - 02:00

If you've lived in, been to, driven by, or flown over New Jersey anytime this century, you've heard of it. The American Dream mall -- the artist formerly known as Xanadu. Over the last 16 years, it has often become the punchline, as money problems and lawsuits plagued the mega development.

But, for those still wishing that the mega-mall may one day actually open its doors, the last few years have brought renewed hope. The mall's current developer, Triple Five (the third to take on the project since its inception) seems to be maintaining momentum on its American Dream. 

Construction is actually happening, and Triple Five promises most of the complex will open in the spring of 2019. The target date has intrigued many, who have watched the dramatic (and expensive) saga of the development unfold.

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John O'Boyle | The Star Ledger
2002

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority asks for proposals to redevelop 162 acres of the 700-acre Meadowlands Sports Complex in June 2002 -- 104 acres that surrounded the former Continental Arena and 62 acres on which the arena and its parking lot sit -- into a multi-use complex with dining, entertainment, retail, hotel, office, exposition, recreation, parking and transportation. There's one caveat, it can't compete with the then-proposed Prudential Center in Newark, which would get the concert and sports billings that had graced Continental Arena.

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teterboro-online.com
2003

Triple Five's Meadowfest pitch failed to make it into the top three proposals selected in the fall of 2002 by the NJSEA. Instead, it picked Mills Corp., Hartz Mountain Industries and Westfield Group -- before handing the project to Mills Corp. for its $1.2 billion Xanadu proposal. An agreement was signed in Dec. 2003 for Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. to pay $160 million in development rights fee to the NJSEA when the permits and approvals were in place.


Xanadu

Xanadu was expected to open about two years after ground was broken on the project and feature 2.6 million square feet of retail and entertainment -- including an indoor Alpine ski resort, an indoor mini Formula One style raceway, minor league baseball stadium, an extreme sports park, a movie palace and a small-format live entertainment venue -- to be developed by Mills Corp.

Mack-Cali was to contribute 2.2 million square feet of office and hotel space inside a 14-story building. It would include 440,000 square feet of class A office space and a 520-room hotel with conference areas.

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File photo
2004

Mills and Mack-Cali held a star-studded gala where they signed a $160 million, 75-year lease for the Meadowlands. Meanwhile, lawsuits are being lobbed by Hartz Mountain, the borough of Carlstadt, the Sierra Club of New Jersey and the New Jersey Buiilders Association. Still, the developers announced 23 initial tenants.


Kaynak:Nj.com

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