Triple Five plots financing for NJ’s $5B American Dream project

Developer's new financing plan includes $1.5B construction loan

<em>Renderings of American Dream at the Meadowlands (credit: Triple Five Worldwide)</em>
Renderings of American Dream at the Meadowlands (credit: Triple Five Worldwide)

If New Jersey’s American Dream finally becomes a reality, it could cost nearly $5 billion.

Developer Triple Five is hoping to revive construction on the long-delayed retail and amusement project — formerly known as Xanadu — planned for East Rutherford, the Wall Street Journal reported. The 2.9-million-square-foot project broke ground in 2003, but construction stopped in February over funding issues.

Now, with a $2.65 billion financing plan — a sum that includes $1.15 billion in public funds — the developer hopes to restart construction next month. The previous developers, Mills and Colony Capital, already invested $1 billion into the project, along with another $1 billion paid by the state. Triple Five’s contribution brings the project’s estimated price tag up to nearly $5 billion, possibly making it the most expensive retail project in U.S. history, NJ Advance Media noted.

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As part of the financing plan, Triple Five is seeking a $1.5 billion construction loan from J.P Morgan and Deutsche Bank. If that financing is secured, along with $1.15 billion from the sale of tax exempt bonds, the developer plans to open the megamall in the summer of 2018.

The mall will feature 500 retail stores and restaurants. The project is also supposed to include a 15-acre amusement park, water park, ski slope, theater, ice rink, aquarium and mini golf courses.

The project’s success likely relies on the mix of entertainment, not the retail component, D.J. Bush, an analyst at Green Street Advisors, told the Journal. [WSJ and]Kathryn Brenzel