What’s going in that Turnpike ‘eyesore’? It opens in March ’19
EAST RUTHERFORD — After being under construction for nearly ten years, the American Dream will open as scheduled in March 2019, according to developer Triple Five.
The 3-million-square-foot complex along the Turnpike that was proposed as Xanadu in 2002 has been taking shape over the past several months following the completion of $400 million worth of infrastructure.
Best known for the multi-colored facade that some called the ugliest in America, Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce President Jim Kirkos told New Jersey 101.5 in 2016 that the building "will look very beautiful" upon completion.
The first attractions to open will be the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, a DreamWorks Waterpark, and a 16-story Big Snow America Indoor Ski Hill. The $3 million first phase symbolizes why the complex isn't a mall, according to Debbie Patire, Triple Five’s senior vice president of marketing.
Paitre said that given the rough time that malls and brick-and-mortar stores have had the past several years, Triple Five is taking the best of its other properties, such as Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, and applying it to American Dream.
"We don't call ourselves a mall. We're a social gathering hubs where folks come to shop, dine and play. It's 55 percent entertainment," Patire told New Jersey 101.5.
The opening of attractions at American Dream will make for a busy spring in the Meadowlands as Wrestlemania 35 comes to MetLife Stadium on April 7.
More traditional mall offerings, hotels and other attractions will open after Phase 1 in a schedule yet to be announced.
Other attractions committed to American Dream include an Observation Wheel offering a panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline, a performing arts center, an NHL-sized ice rink, a 12-screen 1,400-seat Cinemex movie theater, the SeaLife Aquarium, Legoland and an 18-hold Adventure Golf mini golf.