The American Dream mall could be receiving a new transit line capable of bringing tens of thousands of people to the beleaguered shopping center.
NJ Transit officials approved a $3.5 million study exploring a potential transit system that would serve both the mall and nearby MetLife Stadium. According to NJ.com, a conceptual design is set to be delivered by infrastructure firm HNTB by December 2022.
The type of transit has not been determined. Many options appear to be on the table, including a rapid bus system, a light rail system and a monorail system.
The system’s seven-mile route between Secaucus Junction and the Meadowlands would run on government-owned property and would be intended to have a minimal impact on the environment.
The system, already dubbed “Transitway,” would travel south from Secaucus Junction and connect to the New Jersey Turnpike before using a dedicated right of way at the Meadowlands complex to access the stadium and mall.
Concerns remain about how the project will be funded.
Local bus service helps bring workers and shoppers to the American Dream mall, but no dedicated rail system serves the shopping hub due to lack of demand. A rail system does serve the stadium.
The prospect of a new transit system to serve the mall could be a boon for the complex, which is drowning in debt and tapping its reserves to pay it off.
Since opening in October 2019, the American Dream has become a nightmare, with its stores forced to open in the midst of the pandemic. The mall was 76 percent leased in the second quarter, reporting $78.1 million in gross sales.
[NJ.com] — Holden Walter-Warner