Will ‘American Dream’ at Meadowlands ever become a reality?
Remember Xanadu? What some have termed the monstrosity in the Meadowlands, now formally called American Dream, began construction in 2002 but has been stalled for years.
Nevertheless, supporters continue to insist the mega-entertainment and retail project will soon become a reality.
Triple Five, the developer of American Dream, is still trying to finalize a financial plan to finish it, but Debbie Patire, the senior vice president for marketing, refused to give Townsquare Media news an update on how things are progressing.
Jim Kirkos, the president and CEO of the Meadowlands regional chamber of commerce, remains optimistic the $3 billion project will open in less than 2 years.
“The project is immensely important to New Jersey and certainly my region here in North Jersey and the Meadowlands,” he said. “American Dream is a game-changer on many levels, in terms of its economic impact and job creation.”
He said “when you put American Dream together with the other destination related assets we have here in the Meadowlands, with the stadium and the racetrack and the dining facilities, our expo center, it’s a game-changer. It’s immensely important. We’re cautiously optimistic that the financing will be settled in the next handful of weeks and they can start construction again.”
He said even though it doesn’t look like any work has been done for a long time, $400 million was recently into the infrastructure.
“American Dream will have something for everybody, the water park, the amusement park, an aquarium, the ski dome, the Ferris wheel, and 40 other type of entertainment venues along with dining and so forth, what people will see is the next generation of retail and entertainment,” he said.
As for complaints that American Dream is the ugliest building in America, with a dizzying variety of oddly put together colors, stripes and squiggles on the outside of the structure, Kirkos insisted that is not a concern.
“The entire exterior will be changed. The building will look very beautiful, so people should just forget about what it currently looks like,” he said. “It will look nothing like what it is now and it will blend in to the region there in a very beautiful way, a very dramatic way, so I don’t think we should worry about that.”
He added: “The biggest concern quite frankly is for us to garner the support and push this project over the end zone and make sure it does happen and support it. They are pressing very hard for continuing to potentially open the facility by the end of 2017. I think I would not be surprised if it was spring of '18, but I think that’s realistic.”
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