A rendering of the American Dream project in East Rutherford — Courtesy: Triple Five Group
By Joshua Burd
The long-awaited American Dream project has announced an opening date in late October, signaling that the massive entertainment and retail project may finally come to fruition.
Triple Five Group, the developer behind the 3 million-square-foot destination in East Rutherford, proclaimed last week that the complex will open to the public on Oct. 25. The unveiling will coincide with the launch of the property’s expansive entertainment offerings, including its indoor Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park.
“We know that the community has been eagerly awaiting the launch of this incredible global destination,” Don Ghermezian, president of American Dream, said in a prepared statement. “We have a one‐of‐a‐kind property that will reshape the way people think about entertainment, theme parks and shopping and we are so excited to reveal our incredible Nickelodeon Theme Park, DreamWorks Water Park and Big SNOW Ski and Snowboard Park.”
All told, the complex is on track to include more than 15 entertainment offerings, along with more than 450 retail, food and specialty shops. Besides its 16 acres of fully enclosed amusement parks and North America’s 1st indoor snow sports center, American Dream will have an NHL‐size skating and hockey facility and an Angry Birds 18‐hole miniature golf experience.
The infamous project is more than 15 years in the making, beginning under a previous development group before stalling and leaving the Meadowlands with an incomplete, multicolored shell of a complex that was visible from the New Jersey Turnpike and surrounding highways. It has seen construction ramp up in recent years under the stewardship of Triple Five, the owner of the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall, which arrived in 2011 to take over what was then known as Xanadu.
The complex, which Triple Five hopes will draw more than 40 million visitors annually, will house iconic luxury retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and the only New Jersey location of Barneys New York. The nonprofit New Jersey Hall of Fame will also open its permanent home within the property, which sits at the nexus of the Turnpike, Route 3 and Route 120.
“American Dream brings its guests an unrivaled destination for style and fun,” said Ken Downing, Triple Five’s chief creative officer, noting that the property will be 55 entertainment and 45 percent experiential retail.
Late last month, Triple Five announced that it had inked a 10-year deal with The Coca-Cola Co. and its local bottling partner, Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages, which calls for fully integrating the beverage giant’s portfolio into the property through dining, fashion, music, art and entertainment. The deal was the latest in several partnerships that the developer has rolled out in recent years.
Plans also call for an aquarium, a luxury movie theater, a food hall and an observation wheel.