Construction workers at the American Dream project in East Rutherford recently welcomed Gov. Phil Murphy for a tour of the sprawling complex. — Photo by Edwin J. Torres/ Governor’s Office.
By Joshua Burd
The nonprofit New Jersey Hall of Fame has found a permanent home at what will become the sprawling American Dream retail and entertainment complex in East Rutherford.
The organization, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, announced Wednesday that it has signed a permanent lease with developer Triple Five to take up residence at the soon-to-be-open Meadowlands attraction. To date, the Hall of Fame has used a mobile museum as its home.
The 3 million-square-foot American Dream is slated to open next spring.
“I am deeply excited that American Dream will become the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s permanent home,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “New Jerseyans will learn about the distinguished inductees, who will inspire residents to be the next generation of New Jersey leaders.”
The Hall of Fame will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new space on Sept. 26.
“I am tremendously proud to attend this important groundbreaking for The New Jersey Hall of Fame and share their new home with everyone across this great state,” said Don Ghermezian, president of American Dream. “The Museum at American Dream will round out an exceptional offering from entertainment, performing arts, culinary and retail that will draw over 40 million visitors annually.
“We look forward to sharing Jersey history and ambition as a part of every visitors’ experience at American Dream.”
The announcement also brings together two projects associated with Jon F. Hanson, the chairman of The Hampshire Cos., who has been instrumental in the advancement of the long-delayed American Dream and is the Hall of Fame’s board chairman.
“We are beyond excited to have a place to call home, and thrilled that it will be at American Dream,” said Hanson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier this year. “We are proud of the rich and important contributions our inductees have made to New Jersey and beyond, and our new home will allow us to showcase our state to so many more people.”
At American Dream, the Hall of Fame exhibit will join other attractions such as a Legoland Discovery Center and Sealife Aquarium, a DreamWorks Water Park, a Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Cirque de Soleil and KidZania. An estimated 40 million are expected to visit the American Dream complex annually.
“The NJHOF leadership thanks our founders and family of supporters for helping us to create one of the ultimate symbols of Jersey pride,” said Steve Edwards, president of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. “This exciting new attraction and learning center will have an immeasurable impact on the pride of New Jerseyans, and will help inspire its visitors to realize their highest and best sense of self, with a moral excellence of character.”