The issuing of $800 million in bonds to help finance a massive retail and entertainment center in the Meadowlands sports complex moves the long-delayed project closer to completion.
Called American Dream, the project been plagued by financial problems since the first contract was awarded in 2003.
Current developer Triple Five took over in 2011, and on Friday announced the bond issuance, which is part of a $2.7 billion financing plan. The Record reported that Triple Five recently announced it had closed on $1.6 billion in private financing.
It’s hoped the complex could open by the spring of 2019.
Plans for American Dream include high-end retail, a water park, indoor rollercoasters and a skating rink.
Originally known as Xanadu and scheduled to open in 2007, the project fell prey to the economic recession before Triple Five, whose properties include the Mall of America in Minnesota, took over.
The immense structure, once called “the ugliest… building in New Jersey” by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, has sat unfinished between MetLife Stadium and the New Jersey Turnpike for years. During the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in 2014 it was used as a command center for security operations.
The Jets and Giants sued the developer in 2012, claiming Triple Five didn’t get their permission — as required under an earlier agreement — to expand the footprint for the mall from its original design. They sought to have the mall closed on game days to avoid traffic backups.
A settlement was reached in 2014 that called for a variety of mass transit and traffic improvements to handle traffic on game days.