Rebranded, American Dream Meadowlands to open in 2013
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
BY KELLY NICHOLAIDES
East Rutherford - Marketed as the world class destination choice for entertainment, amusement parks, dining, recreation, tourism and shopping, American Dream Meadowlands, the rebranded Xanadu project, is slated to be the region's economic engine, serving 50 million people annually, officials said.
In the new plans by Triple Five for American Dream Meadowlands, the much hated Xanadu exterior will be transformed, but the mall, when done in 2013, will be much larger than the original scope.
Governor Chris Christie held a press conference along with Canada-based Triple Five, owned by the Ghermezian family, the Lending Group and Christie's adviser Jon Hanson, at the construction site to announce that Triple Five will invest approximately $1.5 billion to complete the project by 2013.
"This is going to become what it was envisioned to be: an extraordinary destination," said Christie. "It's getting a makeover, a new name, a new image...and we'll make sure the sales tax revenue comes back to make this a successful project, get our investment back with responsible partners that we can trust. This partnership is a critical sign that New Jersey is making a comeback."
The Christie Administration is offering approximately $200 million in financing, which is still being finalized. Triple Five will use sales tax revenue generated to repay the loan, officials said. Triple Five Chairman Nader Ghermezian said the project pales in comparison to the developer's other projects, including Mall of America and Alberta, Canada.
"How would you like to take a walk to Hawaii? We'll have an indoor water park with six-foot waves, 85 degree temperatures, 365 days a year," said Nader Ghermezian. "How would you like to go skiing in the middle of summer? Come here instead of going to Aspen. You don't have to go to Rome, Paris or Milan for shopping."
Senior Vice President Paul Ghermezian said that his family, of Persian descent, came to the United States in the 1970s for the American Dream, and so Triple Five felt that would be a befitting name for the rebranded project.
"We came here looking for the American Dream. We want to share it with everybody. This is the center of the world," Ghermezian said.
He gave the media a tour of parts of the more than 3 million square feet of interior. A top floor outdoor movie theater features a view of the New York City skyline. Below, an enclosed water park will be constructed. A 3,000 seat performing arts theater would be the next stop. A central, Vegas-style grand canopy entrance would be constructed outside the Izod Center. An indoor ski slope will feature one large and one bunny-style slope. A high-end shopping wing features runway style lighting that transforms from pink to green, blue and purple. The indoor ice rink with chandelier will rival Rockefeller Center, and offer a clear vision of all three floors, he said.
Above all, the ugly exterior will be covered with sleek and sophisticated design.
The project is expected to create 9,000 construction jobs over two years, and approximately 35,000 permanent jobs and $3.8 billion annually in area revenues once the doors open.
Quite a few renderings of the mall can been seem in the TPR thread as well as a few photos of what the interior currently looks like.:
Hopefully this thing opens this time. This project looks awesome!