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Mall of America owner to complete troubled Xanadu Project


New York City -- Triple Five Worldwide Development Co. LLC, owner of the Mall of America in Minnesota, reached a deal with lenders and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to complete and expand the stalled Meadowlands Xanadu entertainment complex in East Rutherford, N.J., Bloomberg reported.

The developer will increase the project’s size to about 3 million sq. ft. from 2.4 million sq. ft., change its much-maligned exterior, and add indoor water and theme parks to the mix of attractions, said Maureen Bausch, a spokeswoman for Triple Five. The complex, which will be renamed “American Dream | Meadowlands,” is set to open in phases starting in the fall of 2013, according to the spokeswoman.

“The building will provide opportunity in a lot of ways,” Bausch said. “It will bring jobs, opportunities for people to start businesses, and opportunities to visit New Jersey with their families.”

Bausch declined to provide details about Triple Five’s investment. The New York Times reported today that the company would pump more than $1 billion into the project and that Governor Christie agreed to provide low-interest financing and allow the developer to use most of the sales tax it collects over a period of time to repay the loan. The state is offering a financing package of $180 million to $200 million, according to the newspaper.

The complex has been plagued by delays since building began more than five years ago. Colony, led by billionaire Thomas J. Barrack, took over in 2006 from Mills Corp., the original developer, after Mills ran out of money.

Work stalled after the September 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings, which had financed the project, left lenders unable to meet obligations, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony said in an August statement.

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