American Dream mall debtor must repay $390M: judge

Triple Five Group does not oppose creditors in court

Judge Andrew Borrok and American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Getty, American Dream Mall)
Judge Andrew Borrok and American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Getty, American Dream Mall)

The American Dream mall must pay its lenders nearly $390 million, a judge ruled.

The lenders, Western Asset Management and Nonghyup Bank of South Korea, sued in New York Supreme Court in February, claiming an entity affiliated with Triple Five Group‘s giant retail property defaulted when it didn’t repay its $389 million loan in May 2021.

In a court decision filed Tuesday, the judge in the case ruled the entity is on the hook for the loan, plus interest. The ruling came relatively quickly after the suit was filed, as no one contested the case.

“It is undisputed that payments due under five promissory notes dated August 2, 2019 … have not been paid when due,” Commercial Division Judge Andrew Borrok wrote.

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A representative for the American Dream did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but later claimed in a statement to Bloomberg that “The case and claim are filed against a single purpose entity, which has no ownership of American Dream.”

However, Bloomberg reported that documents show the judgment is against an affiliate of the company created to develop and own the American Dream. The entity’s name is Ameream Mezz I LLC.

Triple Five, run by the Ghermezian family, has struggled with the New Jersey megamall for years. Building it took far longer than anticipated and cost about $6 billion, and just as it was finally gaining popularity with New Jerseyans, the pandemic hit.

The mall owner has faced regular pressure from bondholders as well as from surrounding towns, who have sued for money they say they are owed under development agreements. The East Rutherford retail and amusement complex reportedly lost $60 million in 2021.

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