New Xanadu developer to pour another $1B into stalled NJ mall

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Mall of America developer Triple Five has reached a deal with lenders and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to reboot and expand the stalled Xanadu complex in the Meadowlands, the New York Times reported. The checkered, 2.4 million-square-foot complex, originally envisioned as a retail and entertainment destination that would rejuvenate East Rutherford, has sat incomplete along the New Jersey Turnpike for years, sapping up $1.9 billion in the process and developing a reputation as the poster child for failed boom-time real estate projects. Far from drawing new visitors to the area, it has thus far drawn little more than jeers at its cartoonish façade and unfortunately ironic moniker. (Christie himself recently called it “the ugliest building in New Jersey, and possibly America.”) That’s all — hopefully — about to change. Under the Triple Five deal, the newly-named “American Dream@Meadowlands” will get a new exterior skin, and a whopping $1 billion in additional funding from the developer, which will add an indoor water park, skating rink and second parking garage to the already ambitious plans. Ski buffs will be happy to learn that Triple Five also plans to keep the 600-foot-long indoor slope that’s already been installed. The Christie administration, which has earned a reputation for aggressive cost-cutting, will provide between $180 million and $200 million in low-interest financing and waive sales taxes for a period of time so that the developer can use the revenue to replay the loan. [NYT]