The American Dream Mall—once given a deadline to open in 2014 when the Super Bowl was played in New Jersey—has become the butt of many Northern New Jersey residents’ jokes. It’s been empty for years, little more than a garish, multi-colored eyesore to the drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike.
But finally, after 16 years of starts and stops, missed deadlines, three developers, five governors and a major retail contraction, current developer Triple Five claims the $5 billion American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, N.J., will open its 3.1-million-square-foot center in April. That includes 1.5 million square feet of retail, the largest indoor amusement park in the Western Hemisphere, an indoor ski lift, a DreamWorks-branded indoor waterpark, a Cirque du Soleil venue and a National Hockey League-sized ice rink. Subsequent phases call for two hotels and a convention center.
“There’s a lot that you can see with your eye to let you know this thing is coming soon,” said David Townes, a senior director of retail at Cushman & Wakefield whose office is next to the American Dream site in the Meadowlands Complex.