A rendering of the American Dream project in East Rutherford — Courtesy: Triple Five Group
By Joshua Burd
The massive American Dream project in East Rutherford has a new opening date, with plans now calling for a fall debut for the long-awaited retail and entertainment complex.
Triple Five Group, the developer of the 3 million-square-foot project, on Monday announced the latest timeline for what will be the newest addition to the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The project was most recently believed to be on track to open this spring, following comments by Gov. Phil Murphy, but observers ultimately found that to be overly optimistic.
Monday’s announcement comes amid at least two years of near continuous construction at what had been the failed, incomplete Xanadu project. Triple Five, the owner of the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall, moved to take over the project from its previous developers in 2011 and secured the needed financing in 2017.
“For over 35 years, Triple Five Group has embraced the concept that retail cannot exist without entertainment and experiential elements, and American Dream will further raise the bar,” said Don Ghermezian, president of American Dream. “Guests will experience something completely unique each time they visit — this project will be the realization of their wildest dreams.”
Ghermezian touted plans for hundreds of shopping and entertainment options aimed at appealing to all tastes. The complex will house iconic retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and the only New Jersey location of Barneys New York, along with a host of other luxury brands.
Other plans call for a vast array of dining and programmed public spaces that will appeal to social media users, Triple Five said. Meantime, the firm is planning 18 acres of entertainment, including North America’s largest fully enclosed indoor DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, along with a 16-story Big Snow Indoor Ski & Snow Park and a host of other operators.
The nonprofit New Jersey Hall of Fame will also open its permanent home within the property, which sits at the nexus of the New Jersey Turnpike, Route 3 and Route 120. Triple Five and its tenants are banking on their ability to attract visitors from the surrounding 21 million residents and nearly 63 million domestic and international tourists that arrive annually.
The surrounding highway network serves more than 100 million vehicles annually.