Meadowlands Complex Gets Funding

The American Dream entertainment complex – located on the site of the Meadowlands Sports Complex and failed Xanadu project in East Rutherford, N.J. – now has some financial help from the state.

The multibillion-dollar shopping and entertainment complex will receive up to $200 million in state dollars after the New Jersey Legislature made the Meadowlands area eligible under the Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant program June 30.

Gov. Chris Christie unveiled a deal in May for mall developer Triple Five to take over the failed $2.7 billion Xanadu project. It was renamed and expanded to a 3-million-square-foot complex that would include shops, nightclubs, water parks, skating rink, movie theatre, ski slope and performance hall.

The actions taken by the state legislature expands the geographic area eligible for the program. Christie wanted to use state funds but there were complications because some of American Dream was located on ineligible property.

“What we’re trying to do is provide incentives for places like the American Dream at Meadowlands to be built, and in these difficult economic times, the state is going to become a partner, a small partner, in the project, but a partner nonetheless,” Christie told radio station WNYC. “We’re going to get our money back once the project is successful.”

Christie said nearly 9,000 workers would be brought in to build the complex, which would employ about 35,000 people permanently. New Jersey will finance the project with $200 million in sales tax incentives.

The existing structure’s renovation is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013 while the additions of water and amusement parks will take until 2014.