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NYguy Jan 25, 2010 11:36 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/ny...AZ60taNwAIVZ8A

Possible Second Life for Stalled Xanadu Project? Consider Trip to ‘Jersey Shore’

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ticleLarge.jpg

By PETER APPLEBOME
January 24, 2010


There’s a new governor, Christopher J. Christie, who took office on Tuesday, but otherwise the news from New Jersey last week had that familiar ring.

Guy Catrillo, a former Jersey City Council candidate who took $15,000 in bribes, received 18 months in prison in the first sentencing to grow out of the largest public corruption sting in state history. Leonard Kaiser, a longtime North Arlington mayor and a former freeholder and member of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion charges on Thursday in connection with campaign funds converted to personal use.

The reality show “Jersey Shore” finished a triumphant season of redefining contemporary courtship etiquette. (Thus saith “The Situation”: “I necessarily didn’t want to bring home any sort of zoo creatures whatsoever. These broads just smelled the food at the house.”)

And just when it seemed ready to recede into the New Jersey Turnpike permanent landscape, the Meadowlands Xanadu project resurfaced as the state’s other misbegotten reality show. First the chief executive of the sporting goods-outdoors megastore Cabela’s, the project’s anchor tenant and an indispensable attraction, said it was unlikely ever to open a store there. And on Friday, a report prepared by the Christie administration’s transition team said that Xanadu “appears to be a failed business model” and that New Jersey needs to tell the owners to “open or surrender the property.”

It concluded: “There is no leasing plan making material on-site progress. The physical activities of construction are at a standstill, if not abandonment. The construction loan is out of balance. There are no monies readily available to finish construction of public areas or tenant improvements. Most, if not all, of announced major tenants have an ‘escape clause’ solely dependent on leasing — or lack thereof.”


Officials with the project say its business model is sound and it has been delayed because two of its lenders went bankrupt.

Mr. Christie has been a critic of the stalled $2 billion project. But with a new administration, there will almost certainly be new attention to what can be done to forestall what could be perhaps the worst retail failure ever.

Well, O.K., everybody’s a critic now. It might have seemed peachy back in the McGreevey era to contemplate a multibillion-dollar shopping and entertainment center with a 16-story indoor Snow Park, 286-foot-tall Pepsi Globe Ferris wheel, a simulated sky-diving contraption, a MagiQuest virtual-reality game and the rest. But no one — at least no one not smoking however much opium it took for the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to envision the original Xanadu — would propose one now.

So what to do? The options are not attractive: hunker down and hope the project makes more sense in a year or two (or four or five), have the state sue the developers to take back the property, find a really rich new developer or knock it down and forget it. And there’s certain to be consideration of alternative uses. One already circulating on a hypothetical level (and certain to face gargantuan hurdles) is to consider allowing existing Atlantic City casino operators to make it a casino, in an effort to keep some North Jersey gambling dollars out of New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Yes, there are already too many casinos, but there aren’t that many appropriate uses for something that looks like the world’s biggest air vent covered in Play Doh. Still, there must be other thoughts out there.

So, capitalizing on the state’s most conspicuous success over the past year, here’s mine — “Jersey Shore” Meadowlands: The Mall and Fitness Experience.

Turn the indoor ski slope into surfing waves, retrofit the place for housing that can be turned into share houses (year round!), put in a boardwalk to give the retail that “Jersey Shore” je ne sais quoi. The Situation, one of the show’s savants, has said he’d like to open his own fitness studio. Well, here it is: Make it the world’s biggest gym, tanning salon and academic research center into abs enhancement and state-of-the-art hair gel technology.

Is it a certain winner? Nothing is. But you take a white elephant that’s dead in the water and replace it with one perfectly aligned with the all-important youth demographic, with instant brand identification, an international audience of millions and potential for unlimited old-fashioned, interpersonal interactivity: Martial arts classes! Duck phone kiosks! Mass fist-pumping celebrations!

It’s true the “Jersey Shore” phenomenon could have a short half-life, but it beats Xanadu’s current no life. If you have a better idea of what to do with the site, please let me know.

Otherwise, we await bold new leadership. “We have the tools for a brighter future, if we change direction,” Mr. Christie said at his inauguration last week. Exactly. Sir, your new road to Xanadu starts here.

NYguy Feb 22, 2010 3:14 PM

http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_...es_left_column

New life for Xanadu?
New York developer may jump-start stalled project


by E. Assata Wrig

Quote:

With thousands of jobs for the Meadowlands region at stake, the state is considering an offer from an investor to revive the stalled Xanadu project in East Rutherford, a $2.3 billion entertainment/retail/sports complex on Route 3.

Related Companies, a New York City-based real estate development company, may kick in millions to complete the project, which has seen its opening date pushed back several times.

Xanadu needs about $500 million to be completed. It’s unclear whether Related would put up all or a portion of the money needed for completion.

The massive complex, which is supposed to feature five theme-oriented shopping and entertainment districts, was envisioned to be a cross between an indoor theme park and a mall.

The completed complex will have a total of 4.8 million square feet, with 2.3 million square feet available for lease, plus an aquarium, an indoor snow dome, two skydiving tunnels, movie theaters, and up to 200 stores.

evanmack Feb 27, 2010 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by millertime83 (Post 4526287)
Here's are two shots from March. (Nothing has really changed much since then)
http://imgur.com/HU7NM.jpg
http://imgur.com/SSiyf.jpg

Is that Xanadu??

Dac150 Feb 28, 2010 11:13 PM

Unfortunately, yes.

prospekt Mar 1, 2010 5:31 AM

Quote:

there aren’t that many appropriate uses for something that looks like the world’s biggest air vent covered in Play Doh
:tup:

Seat24inNJ Jul 22, 2010 3:23 AM

http://imgsrv.wcbs880.com/image/DbLi...jpg?1279761075 http://imgsrv.wcbs880.com/image/DbLi...jpg?1279761069 http://imgsrv.wcbs880.com/image/DbLi...jpg?1279761093

WCBS880

SkyscrapersOfNewYork Jul 22, 2010 4:22 AM

it is without question one of the ugliest things in the US..though i still wanna go as soon as it opens :D

NYguy Aug 11, 2010 11:01 PM

http://therealdeal.com/newyork/artic...ated-companies

Lenders take the reins on Xanadu

August 11, 2010

Quote:

As expected, lenders foreclosed on the $2 billion stalled Xanadu project in the Meadowlands yesterday, and they're already in talks with Stephen Ross' the Related Companies for a partnership that would restart construction on the unfinished complex.

The creditors in control now include Credit Suisse, Capmark Financial and an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group. Ross has said if it was up to him, he would "rebrand, rename and re-skin" the blue-and-white checkerboard retail and entertainment center, which is slated to have an 800-foot indoor ski slope, skydiving wind tunnels and the largest Ferris Wheel in North America.

It will take an estimated $875 million to finish the project, so the $180 million in financing recently proposed by a state panel isn't going to be enough for Related.

Gov. Chris Christie yesterday told the Post through a spokesperson that "this is a project worth saving… but the circumstances have to be right." Christie is now asking private equity firms to take stakes in Xanadu, which he says will be finished by 2014, when the nearby Jets-Giants stadium will host the Super Bowl.
http://www.nypost.com/p/news/busines...#ixzz0wJ0KCz3o

Renton Aug 13, 2010 11:22 PM

Waste of money
 
As we say in the old neighborhood - Watta a disasta......

NYC4Life Aug 14, 2010 12:18 AM

Four more years for a project that already looks complete on the outside? Yup, disaster!

NYguy Aug 14, 2010 2:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYC4Life (Post 4946669)
Four more years for a project that already looks complete on the outside? Yup, disaster!

I think he's just looking to have it complete by then...

Quote:

he says will be finished by 2014, when the nearby Jets-Giants stadium will host the Super Bowl
...when the Super Bowl will be played at the stadium. It would be a major embarrassment if it weren't.

NYguy Nov 22, 2010 5:23 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/ny...2&ref=nyregion

On Train to Meadowlands, View of Wasted Money

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ticleLarge.jpg

The New Meadowlands Stadium, left, stands near the long-delayed Xanadu project, right.

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
November 21, 2010

Quote:

It wasn’t a pretty view on the 13-minute train ride Sunday from Secaucus to New Meadowlands Stadium — old landfills, mud flats, the garish bulk of the stalled Xanadu project. But it might as well have been paved with money.

The 2.3-mile train line to the Meadowlands, opened last year, offers a unique tour of inflated and deflated dreams, poor decision-making and, most of all, enormous spending — a fair amount of it from taxpayers, and a fair amount that will never be recouped — in the inimitable New Jersey style. So did the green-clad Jets fans riding to the game gaze out the window at what were supposed to be golf courses, housing, hotels and malls, and sing a lament for the long-suffering New Jerseyan?

Some wearily accept the excess as an inevitable part of life in this state, but most give it little thought.

“If I think about it, I know some of it is crazy,” said Mike McBride, a computer scientist from Boonton. “But when I think about taxes and spending, I tend to think about my local government.”

As the train crosses the Hackensack River, to the left lies what was supposed to be the EnCap project. Once frequent headline news, to judge by the game-day passengers, it has largely vanished from public memory.

This was to be one of the largest developments in the state’s history, entrusted by state and local governments to developers who had little track record and shaky financing. EnCap Holdings was supposed to turn 800 derelict acres, including several old dumps, into a resort and thousands of homes.

None of it happened. Instead, the developers made a series of missteps, ran out of money and, in 2008, filed for bankruptcy. All that remain are lawsuits, investigations and questions about where the money went and who will do the needed cleanup.
State and local bodies sank hundreds of millions of dollars into the project; much has been repaid, but officials say some of it never will be.

On the train, Mike Von Ohlen of New Brunswick, who works at a truck company, turned to look at the sprawling, multicolored Xanadu. Or, as he called it, “the biggest boondoggle there is.”

Xanadu, now just called The Meadowlands, is the largest retail and entertainment complex in the country. After more than $2 billion spent, it is years behind schedule, and the owners say they need $875 million to complete it. It sits on state-owned land; the state has paid for transportation improvements to reach it; and Gov. Chris Christie wants the state to invest money to help finish it.

At the sports complex, owned by the state’s Sports and Exposition Authority, the train passes the money-losing Izod Center. Never a fan favorite, it has been losing business — including its two biggest tenants, the Nets and the Devils — to the newer Prudential Center in Newark.

Nearby sits the Meadowlands Racetrack, serving the fading business of harness racing and also losing money, despite state subsidies. Mr. Christie wants to sell the track and the Izod Center, or shut them down.

Nothing remains of the one site at the complex that actually made money, Giants Stadium, torn down and replaced this year by the new stadium.

Even so, taxpayers are still paying for it, and will be for years to come. The state is paying off more than $200 million in debts on the complex, including the demolished stadium.

New Meadowlands Stadium cost $1.6 billion, said to be the highest price ever for a stadium. That, at least, was built with private money, but many fans wonder what the point was.

“The old stadium was great,” said Marty Schwartz, a retiree from Englewood Cliffs. “Seems like a big waste of money.”

Critics have questioned the Meadowlands train extension itself, built for $185 million, which partly replaced a much less expensive shuttle bus service. It runs only a few dozen days of the year, when major events are held at the stadium, though that will increase when Xanadu finally opens.

Fans generally like the service, which lets them avoid the aggravation and expense of parking at the stadium.

“It’s probably worth it for us,” Mr. McBride said. “But everybody else? Probably not.”

NYC4Life Nov 27, 2010 5:11 AM

New York Times

A New Push to Rescue Xanadu Mall Project
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: November 26, 2010

Quote:

Lenders and state officials in New Jersey are desperately trying to cobble together the second rescue of Xanadu, one of the nation’s largest, most expensive and still incomplete retail and entertainment malls.

The 2.4-million-square-foot project, which began in 2003 with futuristic visions of an indoor ski slope, a super-size Ferris wheel, a concert hall, movie theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants and expensive shops, ran through two owners and a staggering $1.9 billion before work came to a halt nearly two years ago amid the financial crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

The lenders are now hoping to strike a deal by the end of 2010 with a new developer and a new financial partner willing to put up more than $500 million to finish the five-story mall in the Meadowlands, six miles from Times Square.
Full Article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/ny.../27Xanadu.html

Infernal_Elf Dec 4, 2010 11:41 AM

Intresting developement too bad they went along with pepsi instead of coca cola.

and the general cladding and facades look horribly indeed looks like some big factory complex with plenty of halls only thing that almost looks good is the ski slope.

they got alot to learn from Dubai here id say the Mall of the emirates ski slope and the general cladding and layout of the Dubai mall is work of art compared to this.

lets just hope the interior wont be as hideous as the rest but i fear it might me

this is how malls should look like

the pictures are my own

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/9592/p3098084.jpg

Top of the ski slope in Mall of the emirates from outside

http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/5387/p3128943.jpg

on the left here u can see much of the Dubai mall it also have nice cladding on the other side and its even very beautiful on the roof also on the right u got an Arabic souk

http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/6641/p3128827.jpg

close up of the Dubai mall

Zensteeldude Jan 16, 2011 9:26 PM

Deal Revives New Jersey's Xanadu .
DECEMBER 24, 2010.

By ELIOT BROWN And LISA FLEISHER

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...549228004.html

After over two years of delays, lenders controlling the troubled Xanadu New Jersey retail development have reached a tentative agreement with Triple Five Group, the owners of the Mall of America to invest in and finish the stalled multibillion dollar project.

Should the deal be finalized, it would bring an end to a tumultuous search for a new developer to finish construction of the entertainment and retail mega-project which has become an embarrassment for the state.

Edmonton, Alberta-based Triple Five has signed a letter of intent to do the deal with a lender group which took control of the financially troubled project in August. But people involved cautioned that a deal wasn't final and could still collapse.

Bidders have estimated the 2.2-million-square-foot project needs as much as $700 million to $1 billion in new money, following the approximately $2 billion that has already been spent.

Details of the deal weren't released. But people familiar with the matter say that it calls for the lenders to receive money from the project over time as it is completed and revenue comes in, and they wouldn't receive an up-front payment. Should the project succeed, the lenders could ultimately retrieve their full investment, the people said.

The lenders, which hold about $500 million in debt, include Credit Suisse, Capmark Financial and an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group.

In a measure to aid the new developer, the typically parsimonious Christie administration has said it is open to directing tens of millions of dollars in state aid to help the project, using a pledge of future tax revenues to help finance the deal. A specific agreement on the subsidy hasn't yet been reached, multiple people involved said.

Triple Five executives said Thursday that the company envisions transforming the complex into a major tourism destination akin to the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, which the firm also owns. "That location is just unbelievable," said Maureen Hooley Bausch, a vice president at Triple Five. "We have a lot of plans—we've talked to some of our favorite retailers."

The giant retail project has been a constant headache for the long list of real-estate executives and lenders involved in its creation, suffering from construction delays and rising costs, along with an economic crisis that poured cold water on bullish assumptions. The 100-acre site is slated to include a Ferris wheel and an indoor ski slope.

The initial developer, the Mills Corp., ran into financial problems and turned the project over to Colony Capital in 2007. Colony, in turn ceded control to the lender group this year.

That group, advised by Moelis & Co., along with law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, sought bids in recent months from real-estate firms to finish the project, negotiating in the past few weeks with Triple Five, Florida-based DeBartolo Development, and a joint venture of the Trump Organization and TPG Capital.

The project is by no means a low-risk, and many real-estate executives who looked at it are unsure that the economics will work given the tremendous further investment needed. Skeptical about the finances, Donald Trump withdrew his bid earlier this month, he said an interview Thursday. "We studied it long and hard—it is a very tough deal at any price," he said.

Triple Five, the state government—which owns the land under the complex—and the lenders plan to continue talks and hash out specifics, though hurdles remain including lining up financing. "There are conditions to be met, but I'm comfortable that they can be met," said Jon Hanson, a former state official who led a state commission that recommended a path forward on Xanadu earlier this year.

With regard to a vision for the site, Triple Five said it expected to release plans after the New Year. One thing is certain, according to Ms. Bausch: "The name has to be changed."

I also read in an article I cant find "The exterior has to be changed."

Dac150 Jan 16, 2011 9:45 PM

Another ‘only a matter of time’ situation, but I’m glad this is happening sooner rather than later.

Zensteeldude Jan 16, 2011 10:11 PM

If Triple 5 can't make a go of this monstrosity, no one can. If this deal falls through they should just implode the beast.

NYguy Jan 17, 2011 2:31 PM

Quote:

Triple Five executives said Thursday that the company envisions transforming the complex into a major tourism destination akin to the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, which the firm also owns. "That location is just unbelievable," said Maureen Hooley Bausch, a vice president at Triple Five. "We have a lot of plans—we've talked to some of our favorite retailers."
Just get it done already.

patriotizzy Jan 17, 2011 7:07 PM

I remember reading about the construction of this site. I thought it would have ended up being a popular place, as that's what everyone was saying (developers, state, etc). Incredible what a big disappointment it turned out to be. I got to agree that this thing looks atrocious and a complete waste of state money. I hope these new guys can turn it over and make something useful with all the money spent.

Thundertubs Jan 18, 2011 5:03 AM

A boondoggle of the highest order. Was there anything remotely resembling a shortage of retail or mega-malls in Bergen County? The ongoing disaster this thing is pains the former Bergen County-ite in me. It's embarrassing.

Crawford Jan 18, 2011 7:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thundertubs (Post 5129887)
A boondoggle of the highest order. Was there anything remotely resembling a shortage of retail or mega-malls in Bergen County?

In terms of mega-malls and big-box retail, the NYC Metro area is actually under-retailed compared to other major U.S. metros.

It really doesn't matter for this mall, though, because the retail mix is very different. This isn't a typical mall, with department store anchors and the like.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Thundertubs (Post 5129887)
The ongoing disaster this thing is pains the former Bergen County-ite in me. It's embarrassing.

This will be a huge money machine. Basically has the best location anywhere for a megamall.

NYC4Life Jan 19, 2011 4:43 PM

One can only pray this project will be fully completed and operational by the time the Super Bowl comes to the area in 2014.

JSsocal Jan 29, 2011 2:26 AM

At least its easy to spot from the ESB
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4093/...779fc484_b.jpg

My Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34734039@N04/

NYguy Mar 25, 2011 3:35 AM

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_christie_xanadu

Gov. promises facelift to NJ's 'ugliest' building


http://d.yimg.com/a/p/ap/20110324/ca...._9e05Lx4VEw--

By BETH DeFALCO
Mar 24, 2011

Quote:


Gov. Chris Christie wants a longtime New Jersey eyesore to get a makeover.

Calling it the ugliest building in New Jersey, and possibly America, Christie said Thursday that any deal to finish developing a troubled multibillion-dollar retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands will have to include a new exterior.

Late last year, Triple Five, which owns the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, signed a letter of intent with lenders to complete the development of the "Xanadu" complex and possibly expand it.

Located about 10 miles west of New York City, next to the Izod Center and across a highway from the $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium that is slated to host the 2014 Super Bowl, the decor of the complex has been a source of curiosity for motorists traveling the New Jersey Turnpike.

At a town hall event Thursday, Christie said the first thing that must be done is change the multicolored, multi-patterned exterior.

"They have to change the God-awful ugly outside of that building. It is just an offense to the eyes as you drive up the turnpike," Christie told the crowd, which responded with a cheer.


The decor, which cost an estimated $40 million, has been a source of curiosity for motorists on the turnpike and a joke for late-night comedians.

Christie said the exterior was a reminder of the project's failure, asking: "How didn't everybody understand that something that ugly would fail?"

The project has had more than just cosmetic problems.

The sprawling $2 billion complex originally was projected to open in late 2007. It was supposed to feature shops, an indoor snow dome, a movie complex, bowling alley, restaurants and an upscale martini bar. But as financing fell through, it remained empty, with its most noticeable feature being its exterior.

Creditors took over Xanadu in August, after original lead developer Mills Corp. ran into financial problems and was replaced as general managing partner in early 2007 by Los Angeles-based Colony Capital Acquisitions.

Triple Five and the governor's office are in negotiations to start development, and a possible expansion. Christie said he hopes to have an announcement on the project this spring.

Christie has backed findings of a panel studying the state's gaming, sports and entertainment industries that determined $875 million was needed to finish the Xanadu and recommended the state help find some money to complete it, likely in the form of tax-exempt bonds. But, on Thursday the governor said there would be a caveat to using any state money on the project; the state wants a piece of the equity.

"If they want a state investment, we get a piece of the action," Christie said.

Bloomfield resident Charles Thompson, who came to the town hall event, said he didn't agree with Christie on a lot of things, but was thrilled to hear him mention that Xanadu was getting a makeover.

"He's right about that," said the 58-year-old Thompson. "Paint it white, or black, just do something!"

Christie promised that the exterior would be the first thing worked on, even if construction inside remains unfinished.

"I can't take it anymore," Christie said, "and neither can the people of New Jersey."



SkyscrapersOfNewYork Mar 25, 2011 3:39 AM

fuck ya! i knew i was right to root for Christie! :D

Nexis4Jersey Mar 25, 2011 8:19 AM

What a waste of my tax $$$$.....sheesh....hes always dumping it into failing projects that continue to fail. We should have to vote on state funding going into private companies. This project was also rushed before considering the strain on the Highway and Transit system which is near or over capacity in this part of the county.

NYguy Mar 31, 2011 6:24 PM

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/03/...a-name-change/

New Jersey’s Xanadu Project Is Getting A Name Change

http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.co...-sff.jpg?w=420

March 31, 2011

Quote:

Xana-who?

Xanadu, the mega-mall project in the Meadowlands that Gov. Chris Christie has called the ugliest building in New Jersey, will be getting a new name.

Jon Hanson, who headed a committee appointed by Christie to study the future of casinos, racetracks and Xanadu, told a gambling forum Thursday that the project will shed its Kubla Khan-inspired name.

Hanson says he met with the latest developers, Triple-Five, and told them the project does not mean anything to the average New Jerseyan.

“Nobody in New Jersey knows what a Xanadu is, so you have to change the name,” Hanson says he told the developers. “I can report to you there will be a name change.”

A new name has yet to be picked out.


Last week, Christie called it the ugliest building in New Jersey, and possibly America. He said any deal to finish developing a troubled multibillion-dollar retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands will have to include a new exterior.

The decor, which cost an estimated $40 million, has been a source of curiosity for motorists on the turnpike and a joke for late-night comedians. It features rectangular panels of orange, brown, blue and lime.

Late last year, Triple Five, which owns the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, signed a letter of intent with lenders to complete the development of the complex and possibly expand it.

Hanson repeated that possibility Thursday, saying “We are exploring ways that we can increase the size of that facility.”


Located about 10 miles west of New York City, next to the Izod Center and across a highway from the $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium that is slated to host the 2014 Super Bowl, the decor of the complex has been a source of curiosity for motorists traveling the New Jersey Turnpike.

Hanson, founder of a real estate operating company and past chairman of the authority that owns the stadium, said a recent study found that shoppers spend an average of 30 minutes at retail malls. But at malls with entertainment components, they spend three hours, he said.

He said the newly-named complex will be a retail and entertainment center that will draw millions of visitors a year.


NYguy Apr 2, 2011 4:19 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/02/ny...1&ref=nyregion

Fix Xanadu? The Problem May Be Where to Begin

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ticleLarge.jpg
Xanadu, an unfinished $2 billion mall project in East Rutherford, N.J., has been criticized by Gov. Chris Christie as “an offense to the eyes.”


By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
April 1, 2011

Quote:

A state official declared this week that the ill-starred, long-stalled Xanadu mall would be renamed. But by any name, it will still be the building that Gov. Chris Christie has called “an offense to the eyes as you drive up the turnpike.”

“It’s by far the ugliest damn building in New Jersey, and maybe America,” the governor said last week, drawing cheers at a public forum in Nutley, and knowing nods across the state.

Mr. Christie is hardly the first to complain about the looks of the huge, nearly completed retail-and-entertainment mall alongside the Meadowlands sports complex here. Columnists and online forums have taken swings at it. State Senator Richard J. Codey, a former governor, called it “yucky-looking.” And former State Senator Raymond H. Bateman said, “I think the exterior will always be schlocky, no matter what you do with it.”

The facade of the 2.3-million-square-foot complex has walls of horizontal rectangles, walls of vertical stripes, varying shades of blue, green and orange. An indoor ski slope rises at an angle above the rest. Critics have compared the look to stacked shipping containers, Lego blocks and bar codes.

The garish walls were not intended as a naked skin. An array of animated electronic signs and other décor was supposed to surround the building, but may never be built. With $2 billion spent and more needed to finish it, Xanadu’s main problem is money. Twice, developers have been forced to withdraw when financing ran dry; the state is trying to get another developer to take over and perform a face-lift.

The architects who created the original design, the Rockwell Group, have thrown in the towel: After previous developers repeatedly changed the plans, the group withdrew in 2008 and disavowed any responsibility for the project’s appearance.


So we asked the experts to weigh in.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ADU3-popup.jpg
PAUL GOLDBERGER

Architecture critic of The New Yorker

“It really is unspeakably ugly, there’s no doubt about that. It looks like someone tried to decorate a nuclear reactor.”

“In really big projects in this region, there’s been nothing as horrible as that. I would put Madison Square Garden on the same scale, but it’s not recent. I know various people have said the whole Trump complex on Riverside South is worse, and it is pretty bad.”

“With Xanadu I think the only solution, other than dynamite, is lots of lights and signage. The thing is vulgar by any standard, so maybe the only solution is to make it more vulgar — more lights than Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip.”



http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...cook-popup.jpg
RICHARD A. COOK

Architect and partner in Cook + Fox, which designed the Bank of America Tower

Xanadu is “the building every architect loves to hate,” said Mr. Cook, who is also a partner in Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental design consulting firm.

“Personally, what I find to be a horror is, this massive project turns its back on this incredibly beautiful ecosystem. The meadowlands has this incredible biodiversity with real beauty, believe it or not. It’s one of the most important stopover points on the eastern flyway for migratory birds.”

“At least it could have been a background building and nondescript, like all the warehouses and industrial buildings we’re used to driving by.” Instead, its artificiality “makes it an in-your-face offensive building.”

Rather than try to redo the exterior, “I would hide it.”

“I’d find any way to open the building to make it so people can appreciate what’s stunningly beautiful around it, and any way to marry it into the natural ecosystem, like a green roof. I would hire some biologist who specializes in migratory birds to figure out if you could do some kind of armature around the building that would create nesting areas, and camouflage the way it looks now.”



http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ADU5-popup.jpg
MELISSA LAFSKY

Editor in chief of the Web site The Infrastructurist

“Sure, Xanadu is ugly, but the true extent of its repugnance has to be taken in relation to its building costs. Every Wal-Mart and KFC in America is ugly — but what are magnificently ugly are the buildings that cost hundreds of millions to construct, and still emerge as aesthetic monstrosities.”

Considering Xanadu’s price, “it may have a good case for Ugliest Money Pit in America.” In the New York region, “the only thing comparable would be Trumpville on the West Side Highway. It beats Xanadu in its sheer mass, and its brutal imposition on the eyes of millions of people.”



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GUY GEIER

Managing partner of the architectural firm FXFowle, and a New Jersey resident

Structures with cavernous interior spaces pose a particular design challenge: to avoid an exterior of huge, dull slabs. Xanadu’s multicolored panels are understandable “as an attempt to break down the mass of the building, because it is so large,” but they do not work well.

Is there a less attractive high-profile development of recent vintage in the region? “I would be hard-pressed” to think of one. “Just the number of eyes who see it every day provide an opportunity for whoever gets to redesign it to maybe make a more serious statement about what we should be thinking about in our buildings these days. So, for instance, maybe that exterior could be solar, potentially clad in photovoltaic panels.”

A new developer could make some of the exterior transparent, “re-skinning it to expose more of what’s going on inside the building” — an approach FXFowle is taking in renovating the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

The original vision of flashing, moving signs could be “distracting to people while they drive. Might be more of a hazard than a benefit.”



http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ADU4-popup.jpg
BRIAN MCGRATH

Founder and principal of Urban-Interface L.L.C., an urban design consulting practice

“It’s the ultimate example of the shopping mall as an enclosed space that doesn’t engage the environment around it. New Jersey is famous for those,” said Mr. McGrath, who a decade ago worked with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to generate ideas for developing the area.

“It’s less about the ugliness and the scale and the ambition, and more about how you engage a wetland. An indoor ski slope that requires refrigeration year-round blatantly disregards the environment.”

Xanadu’s design “could in some ways make reference to its environment, to the wetlands, the wildlife,” but it does not. “These open areas — the Meadowlands, Jamaica Bay — are the blue and green lungs of our region, and they’ve been completely disregarded and dumped on. They’re just places to drive past and fly over when we’re landing at the airport.”

The outer layer as originally planned, with its electronic components, would be something of an improvement. “It’s definitely in the spirit of Las Vegas, and the love of the ugly and the ordinary in the American landscape.”


Godwindaniel Apr 2, 2011 8:45 AM

When I think of Xanada, I think of that stupid movie with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. And who should pay for that fugly exterior change? Me thinks the morans who approved it in the first place along with the idiotic architects who designed it. It – but we know that’s a pipe dream. No wonder we’re made fun of.

NYC4Life Apr 4, 2011 6:37 PM

Just re-painting the exterior to one color may solve the problem. The whole project as a whole though is just one huge mess. Should have never been built in its current state.

Lecom Apr 4, 2011 7:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Infernal_Elf (Post 5080497)

Now that's a sleek ski slope. The one at Xanadu is a joke. I'd be hard pressed to think of a worse cladding system, unless they just decided to slap some stucco or shingles on the walls.

alphachapmtl Apr 8, 2011 12:39 PM

How Ugly!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JSsocal (Post 5143807)

It's so ugly!
And repainting it will not help, cause it's not just a color problem.

NYguy May 4, 2011 4:31 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/ny...er=rss&emc=rss

Developers and Christie Detail a Plan for Xanadu

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ticleLarge.jpg

An interior view of the unfinished Xanadu mall in the Meadowlands. On Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie and developers
laid out a new vision for completing and expanding the vast complex.


By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
May 3, 2011

Quote:

Much bigger and more expensive, but less gaudy: Gov. Chris Christie and developers laid out a new vision on Tuesday for completing and expanding the vast retail and entertainment complex formerly known as Xanadu in the Meadowlands.

Triple Five — the developer taking over the project, which is now called American Dream@Meadowlands — announced that the mall, where work ground to a halt two years ago, would open for business in late 2013.

Mr. Christie disclosed that Triple Five was also in talks with New Jersey officials about taking over the Izod Center, the struggling sports and entertainment arena nearby.

It was revealed last week that the state, lenders and Triple Five had reached an agreement for the developer to restart and expand the immense, unfinished Xanadu project. But no one provided any details until Tuesday, when state officials and executives of Triple Five held a news conference here and, for the first time, gave journalists in hard hats a tour of the almost-completed main building.

“It’s finally going to move forward now,” Mr. Christie said of the project, which has already burned through $1.9 billion and two developers, each of whom ran out of money.

“It’s going to move forward and be finished.”

The company unveiled artists’ renderings showing a simpler, more muted look both inside and out, including a largely pale blue skin to replace the exterior jumble of bright colors and shapes.

Triple Five revealed on Tuesday that it planned to spend $1.5 billion or more. It said it would expand the project to about 3 million square feet, from 2.2 million, by adding a water park and an amusement park, both under a climate-controlled, glass-and-steel dome alongside the New Jersey Turnpike. The firm has not yet acquired the land needed for that expansion.

New features will also be added to the main structure, including an ice-skating rink and possibly a rooftop outdoor movie theater, Triple Five said.


Officials with the state and Triple Five said the complex would draw more than 50 million people a year, even more than the 42 million who go to the company’s Mall of America, a similar but larger shopping center outside of Minneapolis.

The planned 2013 opening could have political implications for Mr. Christie, who expects to run for re-election in November of that year. The governor, a Republican, had vowed to resuscitate the project, which was devised and derailed under his Democratic predecessors.

Officials hope the mall can take advantage of the 2014 Super Bowl, to be played at New Meadowlands Stadium, a short distance away.

The state has already spent, by some accounts, as much as $1 billion on financing, tax breaks and highway improvements to support the development.

The state will provide about $200 million in financing to Triple Five, and Mr. Christie has said that in return for such aid, the state must share in the benefits if the project succeeds.

The governor declined to say on Tuesday what financial arrangements would be made, but said, “we will get our investment back, and then some.”

That was disputed by Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, who said the developer should be paying the state, which owns the land, rather than the other way around. He raised concerns about traffic and other environmental consequences of the project, adding, “New Jersey needs another mall like we need another Superfund site.”

The concept behind such megaprojects is that drawing and keeping crowds requires a variety of entertainment options, and American Dream will include features like an indoor ski slope, a movie theater, a live theater and a planned Ferris wheel.

No one has embraced the model more enthusiastically than Triple Five, which is owned by the Ghermezian family, based in Canada. It owns both the Mall of America and the 5.3 million-square-foot West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, North America’s largest — both of which include features like amusement parks.

Those complexes draw legions of tourists, and Nader Ghermezian, chairman of Triple Five, said half the visitors to American Dream would be from outside the immediate area. He said that even people on layovers at Newark Liberty International Airport would visit the mall, and that his firm was talking with the airlines about that.

Architecturally, Triple Five plans to make cosmetic changes to the interior, striving for a simpler, more streamlined look, while eliminating some walls to allow more sunlight in. Even toned down, however, the vast complex, which will be brightly lighted at night, will be hard to miss, noted Paul Ghermezian, the firm’s senior vice president.

“People always notice how you see the Manhattan skyline from here,” he said. “What they don’t think about is, that means Manhattan can see us.

“Millions of people are going to look out their windows and say, ‘Hey, what’s that?’ ”


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ADU2-popup.jpg

The empty mall, where work ground to a halt two years ago, will now open for business in late 2013, developers announced.

Crawford May 4, 2011 4:42 PM

The developers say this will have 7.5 million square feet, and will be the largest mall on earth.

Much bigger than either Mall of America or West Edmonton Mall.

But Phase I, for 2013, will only be slightly over 3 million feet.

NYguy May 5, 2011 6:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 5265960)
The developers say this will have 7.5 million square feet, and will be the largest mall on earth.

Much bigger than either Mall of America or West Edmonton Mall.

But Phase I, for 2013, will only be slightly over 3 million feet.


Well, its best they just focus on phase 1 for now anyway. This is a development that has struggled to get built, so 3 million is good, 7.5 million is great. Just as long as they get it built and opened.


Quote:

http://www.njbiz.com/article/2011050...45/0/FRONTPAGE

Upon full buildout, the project, formerly known as Xanadu, will total 7.5 million square feet of space, including 3 million square feet of retail and amusement space, as well as 4.5 million square feet of planned hotels, convention center, performing arts center, sports center and additional venues.

Triple Five said it is planning to invest $1.5 billion in the retail and amusement components of the complex, which has already cost $2 billion; Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that the state has pledged $200 million in financing from the state Economic Development Authority.

The first phase of the project will encompass the 2 million-square-foot existing building, which is scheduled to open fall of 2013, as well as new features such as indoor amusement and water parks, which would open by the first half of 2014, according to Paul Ghermezian, senior vice president at Triple Five, speaking during a media tour of the project site on Tuesday.

The subsequent phases "will be many years in the making," said Triple Five spokesman Dan Jasper.

The American Dream name has a personal significance for Triple Five, which was started by "a family of immigrants," said Ghermezian. His uncle Nader Ghermezian, Triple Five's chairman, and other family members "came here looking for the American Dream … and they achieved it."


http://media.bergen.com/images/Meado...11_sb_tif_.jpg
http://www.northjersey.com/realestat...n_in_2013.html


http://media.nj.com/star-ledger/phot...1-standard.jpg
http://photos.nj.com/star-ledger/201...4xanadu_4.html

ArabianNights1 May 5, 2011 7:39 AM

...let's think about dreams, that is Xanadu

J. Will May 5, 2011 10:47 AM

West Edmonton's 3.8 million square feet is the leaseable retail square footage only. The total size of the mall including common areas, waterpark, amusement park, mini-golf etc. is probably twice that.

They would really benefit if NJ Transit could create a one-seat ride to the Meadowlands. That would make a huge difference to the number of tourists they could potentially attract instead of forcing them to transfer and wait in Secaucus.

KVNBKLYN May 6, 2011 1:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J. Will (Post 5267148)
They would really benefit if NJ Transit could create a one-seat ride to the Meadowlands. That would make a huge difference to the number of tourists they could potentially attract instead of forcing them to transfer and wait in Secaucus.

Um, you know the irony of that statement, right? Christie canceled the ARC project - which would have enabled a one-seat ride from Penn Station to the Meadowlands - on the basis of cost-cutting just a few months before announcing further subsidies for this ill-conceived money pit of a private development.

I'm sure the amusement park aspect will do okay, but the mall is only going to succeed in poaching business from older nearby malls, resulting in a net zero gain in sales tax for the state.

I don't know why New Jersey persists in these stupid development schemes in the Meadowlands. They've been nothing but a money-suck since day one. New Jersey taxpayers are still paying for the old Giants stadium - even though it was demolished last year. And how much money does the useless Izod Center cost the state to maintain?

J. Will May 6, 2011 2:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KVNBKLYN (Post 5268123)
Um, you know the irony of that statement, right? Christie canceled the ARC project - which would have enabled a one-seat ride from Penn Station to the Meadowlands - on the basis of cost-cutting just a few months before announcing further subsidies for this ill-conceived money pit of a private development.

Actually, after I made the statement, I looked at Secaucus Junction on some aerial photos, and it's obvious trains can't change direction there, so I guess some new track would have been required. Funny that ARC would have built such tracks (which I didn't know). If people had to transfer and wait, sometimes long waits, I can't see a lot of tourists going there from Manhattan.

KVNBKLYN May 6, 2011 2:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J. Will (Post 5268158)
If people had to transfer and wait, sometimes long waits, I can't see a lot of tourists going there from Manhattan.

Neither can I. This will attract mostly suburban NJ mall shoppers plus a handful of rich foreigners who fly into Newark expressly for the purpose of shopping in NJ malls and a few New Yorkers curious about the sky slope.

NYguy May 6, 2011 8:53 AM

I think it will be attractive mainly to people who want to drive there.

Quote:

American Dream will include 12,000 "walk-up" parking spots, which directly connect to the complex, and an additional 25,000 "overflow" parking spaces, said Ghermezian.

I think it will succeed if done properly. They are counting on making this a destination in its own right. I don't know that it will attract any tourists from New York (they don't come to New York for malls), but I do think it can draw people from the tri-state area. The problem is that there are so many malls accross the metro area, this one would really have to be unique, there has to be one-of-a-kind attractions.

NYguy May 12, 2011 1:48 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/re...er=rss&emc=rss

Bringing the Mall of America Magic to New Jersey

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ian1-popup.jpg


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...ian2-popup.jpg
The roller coaster at Mall of America.


By TERRY PRISTIN
May 10, 2011

Quote:

When the Ghermezian brothers, immigrants from Iran who had settled in western Canada, wanted to build the largest shopping center in the United States a quarter-century ago, they shipped a submarine that had been custom-built for them in Vancouver — and was an offbeat attraction at their mall in Edmonton — to Bloomington, Minn., and parked it in front of City Hall. Their company, Triple Five, won the development rights for what would become the Mall of America.

But the Ghermezians, who last week unveiled their vision for reviving and expanding the long-stalled Xanadu retail-and-entertainment complex in East Rutherford, N.J., no longer have to resort to stunts to promote themselves.

Since they assumed sole ownership of the Mall of America in 2006, after wresting control from their partner, Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest shopping center operator, they have improved the performance of the 4.2-million-square-foot mall, drawing tens of millions of shoppers and tourists even in the worst economic climate in decades. They reported sales last year of $640 per square foot, well above the industry average of $385. “They’ve done a pretty amazing job at Mall of America,” said Dick Grones, a partner in Cambridge Commercial Realty, a brokerage in Edina, Minn. “It’s better than when Simon had it.”

Triple Five’s flagship, the even larger West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, is also thriving, with a vacancy rate of only 1 percent, said Don Ghermezian, who is president of both malls and will have a similar role at Xanadu, which is being rebranded as American Dream@Meadowlands.

Sales per square foot at West Edmonton, which occupies 5.3 million square feet, were 625 Canadian dollars ($648) last year, compared with an average in that country of 565 Canadian dollars, said Mr. Ghermezian, who is 37. He is a member of the younger generation of Ghermezian men who are assuming more control now that the eldest of the founding brothers, Don’s father, Eskander, is 71.

The West Edmonton Mall opened in phases beginning in 1981 and has about 550 stores. It is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation. Among its attractions are a five-acre water park, an ice-skating rink, an artificial saltwater lake with sea lions, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a 447,000-square foot amusement park and a casino. A Simons department store, the first outside Quebec, is expected to open in September. The brothers have said they were inspired to combine shopping and entertainment on a large scale by Iranian bazaars.

Both malls are “wildly successful,” said Jim Sullivan, a senior retail real estate analyst for Green Street Advisors of Newport Beach, Calif. “They draw a lot of people, and retailers want to be where the people are.”

New Jersey officials are pinning a lot of hopes that a similar formula will work at American Dream, the long-dormant 2.4-million-square-foot complex with a 600-foot indoor ski slope and a much-derided exterior design that is on state-owned land in the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The Ghermezians plan to invest $1 billion to expand the mall — which has already cost $1.9 billion — by adding features like a water park and ice rink.

But Triple Five does not have an unblemished track record. Like many developers, it became overextended in Las Vegas and stumbled badly. Lenders have foreclosed on five loans, and four other loans are in distress, according to Real Capital Analytics, a New York research firm. In 2009, for example, Triple Five had to abandon plans for an $800 million Great Mall of Las Vegas on 60 acres of land that it had acquired for $42.5 million in 2004. Triple Five surrendered the site, which is in North Las Vegas, to its lender, Key Bank, which sold it last December for $6.3 million.

In addition, Triple Five’s plans to add 5.6 million square feet to the Mall of America — announced in 2006 — have had to be postponed and scaled back. Last August, Bank Midwest of Kansas City, Mo., foreclosed on a Ramada Inn that Triple Five had bought for $19.5 million, apparently for strategic reasons because it was between Interstate 494 and the land where the mall expansion is planned.

But some plans are moving forward. Last week, developers of a 500-room Radisson Blu that will be the first luxury hotel at the Mall of America completed their financing and announced a ground-breaking for late this month.

Triple Five is named for three generations of Ghermezians and the five founders, four brothers — Eskander, Nader, Raphael and Bahman — and their father, Jacob, who died in 2000. Raised in Tehran, the brothers came to North America to study at McGill University in Montreal. As students, the three older brothers became successful rug merchants. After their father left Iran in the late 1960s to join his sons, the family moved to Alberta because of the booming oil and gas business and began accumulating vast amounts of land, most of which was eventually sold. Today, the company’s business interests include mining and biotechnology.

...Don Ghermezian said the family had learned from its troubles in Las Vegas. “We’ve become a lot more conservative in our approach, in terms of the projects we’ll go after,” he said. “We have to be 100 percent confident we’ll be able to make it successful. With American Dream, we think we’ve found that.”


patriotizzy May 12, 2011 10:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 5267068)
Well, its best they just focus on phase 1 for now anyway. This is a development that has struggled to get built, so 3 million is good, 7.5 million is great. Just as long as they get it built and opened.





http://media.bergen.com/images/Meado...11_sb_tif_.jpg
http://www.northjersey.com/realestat...n_in_2013.html


http://media.nj.com/star-ledger/phot...1-standard.jpg
http://photos.nj.com/star-ledger/201...4xanadu_4.html

Now that's what I'm talking about. That's what should have been built in the first place. Looks like this will finally be what it was meant to be.

That's 3 different ways of saying the same thing :haha:

J. Will May 12, 2011 10:44 PM

One of the rendering of the interior had windows that showed skyscrapers outside making it look like it was in the middle of Manhattan, lol.

Rizzo May 13, 2011 6:47 AM

From the new interior renderings, it looks like they would ditch the ugly saturated color scheme for something bright and light colored. I like that. The scheme in the existing photos is already very dated. It reminds me of the malls that went up in the early 2000's. They'd paint the ceilings purple or blue, and splash red or orange on the walls.

http://www.waterwinterwonderland.com.../c%5Egames.jpg
waterwinterwonderland

J. Will May 13, 2011 6:57 AM

It's fine to have "entertainment" options, but if they want people coming back regularly, it needs to be more of a full-fledged "regular" shopping centre as well than it was originally going to be. Seeing as how it's Triple Five in charge now, I'm sure it will be more of an actual mall, and not just an alternative "entertainment centre".

On a side not, I was on a flight from Toronto to Edmonton with one of the Ghermezian brothers years ago.

NYguy Oct 20, 2011 1:19 AM

http://www.rew-online.com/2011/10/19...in-new-jersey/

Officials say no more “ugly” for New Jersey

http://www.rew-online.com/wordpress/...grandstand.jpg

October 19, 2011
By Liana Grey

Quote:

Two major makeovers could help create a “suburban Times Square” just off Route 3 in New Jersey. The state Sports and Exposition Authority has just given the green light to plans by Newmark Knight Frank chairman Jeff Gural to create a sleeker, more compact Meadowlands grandstand. And American Dream, the multicolored behemoth on the eastern edge of the Meadowlands Sports Complex formerly known as the Xanadu Mall and dubbed the “ugliest building in New Jersey” received final approval for a stylish transformation of its own.

The three million square complex, which will undergo extensive renovations and a 4.5 million square foot expansion costing a total of $1.5 billion, “has the potential to become a suburban Times Square,” according to Glenn Brill, a managing director at FTI Consulting, which worked with Mills Corporation, the mall’s original developer, when construction began.

Gural acquired the troubled Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford earlier this year in hopes of rescuing it from being shut down by Governor Chris Christie’s office. Construction is now expected to start in February on the new facility designed by Climans Green Liang Architects, the same firm which designed Gural’s much-smaller Tioga Downs in upstate New York.

Meanwhile, Triple Five — which took over the beleaguered Xanadu last year — announced the project received final approval at last week’s Sports Authority meeting for an exterior makeover that will introduce a white and silver color scheme, and replace garish green and orange windows with glass.

alphachap Oct 29, 2011 11:51 AM

suburban Times Square?
 
“has the potential to become a suburban Times Square”

I really don't believe that!

Busy Bee Oct 30, 2011 3:21 AM

Quote:

Gural acquired the troubled Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford earlier this year in hopes of rescuing it from being shut down by Governor Chris Christie’s office. Construction is now expected to start in February on the new facility designed by Climans Green Liang Architects, the same firm which designed Gural’s much-smaller Tioga Downs in upstate New York.
I went to this architects website to see the other equestrian projects they've done. Terrible. Its a smorgasbord of terrible. Truly clown architecture. Embarrassing. Hope for the best, expect the least best.

NYguy Mar 15, 2012 8:05 PM

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...LEFTTopStories

Mall Plan Irks Jets, Giants

http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/i...0315114208.jpg

March 14, 2012
By HEATHER HADDON

Quote:

New Jersey's quest to build one of the nation's largest shopping centers has long been plagued by money problems, but now a new obstacle has emerged: potential opposition from two professional football teams, the Giants and Jets. The powerful franchises are concerned that the American Dream Meadowlands would intensify traffic around their home field, MetLife Stadium, worsening what is already the No. 1 complaint from fans. The stadium is unique among the region's sports facilities in that the majority of fans travel there by car. Exiting the parking lot already takes about an hour.

Transit advocates and some local mayors also believe the $1.8 billion entertainment complex—the latest incarnation of a project originally called Xanadu—will cause highway gridlock, but the teams are a far more influential force in New Jersey. Together, they spent $1.6 billion to build the new MetLife Stadium in 2010 and have the ear of Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

The sports teams want the American Dream developers to shut down an amusement and water park on the days of their 20 home games during the regular and preseason, people familiar with the negotiations said. If that doesn't happen, the teams would consider a legal challenge, these people said. Talks between the teams and the developers, Triple Five of Edmonton, Canada, got "testy" two weeks ago over traffic, one person said.


http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/i...0314183619.jpg


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