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Nickelodeon Universe / American Dream Discussion Thread

p. 32 - AWESOME DreamWorks Water Park trip report!

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To state again how long this has been dragging I have a vivid memory of me when I was a teenager sitting in my old 1996 Dodge Neon (My first car, 2 cars ago) in the parking garage at Continental Airlines Arena (yeah it wasn't even the Izod Center yet) waiting for my buddies to show up because we were all there for opening night for the New Jersey Nets back when they had Jason Kidd and Vince Carter (the team has since changed arenas twice and has left NJ entirely and changed their name) and looking at that building thinking "Wow! It looks like it's almost ready to open, I can't wait!"

 

2025 is being generous.

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I'll believe it when I see it as well. I remember when they started construction on this disaster over 10 years ago now cause it removed where I use to park at Devils games, the Devils got an arena built in that time frame and next year will be the 10th year of that building already lol

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:lol: To state again how long this has been dragging I have a vivid memory of me when I was a teenager sitting in my old 1996 Dodge Neon (My first car, 2 cars ago) in the parking garage at Continental Airlines Arena (yeah it wasn't even the Izod Center yet) waiting for my buddies to show up because we were all there for opening night for the New Jersey Nets back when they had Jason Kidd and Vince Carter (the team has since changed arenas twice and has left NJ entirely and changed their name) and looking at that building thinking "Wow! It looks like it's almost ready to open, I can't wait!"

 

2025 is being generous.

In the meantime, Bill, why don't you come out to the Mall of America? You can take a little road trip, too. Adventureland, Worlds of Fun, SDC? Let me set the stage for you.

 

The American Midwest, destination of a lifetime! Experience our endless cornfields. Marvel at the cheapness of our gas. Wonder how many miles until the next restroom when you really have to pee. And best of all, ride some good coasters run by friendly people who have great food.

 

TL;DR version: Come toward the cinnamon bread.

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:lol: To state again how long this has been dragging I have a vivid memory of me when I was a teenager sitting in my old 1996 Dodge Neon (My first car, 2 cars ago) in the parking garage at Continental Airlines Arena (yeah it wasn't even the Izod Center yet) waiting for my buddies to show up because we were all there for opening night for the New Jersey Nets back when they had Jason Kidd and Vince Carter (the team has since changed arenas twice and has left NJ entirely and changed their name) and looking at that building thinking "Wow! It looks like it's almost ready to open, I can't wait!"

 

2025 is being generous.

In the meantime, Bill, why don't you come out to the Mall of America? You can take a little road trip, too. Adventureland, Worlds of Fun, SDC?

One could probably do the entire journey by walking round trip, Forrest Gump style, and American Dream still wouldn't be open by the time you got back.

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:lol: To state again how long this has been dragging I have a vivid memory of me when I was a teenager sitting in my old 1996 Dodge Neon (My first car, 2 cars ago) in the parking garage at Continental Airlines Arena (yeah it wasn't even the Izod Center yet) waiting for my buddies to show up because we were all there for opening night for the New Jersey Nets back when they had Jason Kidd and Vince Carter (the team has since changed arenas twice and has left NJ entirely and changed their name) and looking at that building thinking "Wow! It looks like it's almost ready to open, I can't wait!"

 

2025 is being generous.

In the meantime, Bill, why don't you come out to the Mall of America? You can take a little road trip, too. Adventureland, Worlds of Fun, SDC? Let me set the stage for you.

 

The American Midwest, destination of a lifetime! Experience our endless cornfields. Marvel at the cheapness of our gas. Wonder how many miles until the next restroom when you really have to pee. And best of all, ride some good coasters run by friendly people who have great food.

 

TL;DR version: Come toward the cinnamon bread.

 

I've had a Valleyfair / Mall of America / Target Field weekend trip in mind for awhile now actually. I'm sure it'll happen eventually. Brit's on board, now I just need to save up for airfare and pull the trigger.

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:lol: To state again how long this has been dragging I have a vivid memory of me when I was a teenager sitting in my old 1996 Dodge Neon (My first car, 2 cars ago) in the parking garage at Continental Airlines Arena (yeah it wasn't even the Izod Center yet) waiting for my buddies to show up because we were all there for opening night for the New Jersey Nets back when they had Jason Kidd and Vince Carter (the team has since changed arenas twice and has left NJ entirely and changed their name) and looking at that building thinking "Wow! It looks like it's almost ready to open, I can't wait!"

 

2025 is being generous.

In the meantime, Bill, why don't you come out to the Mall of America? You can take a little road trip, too. Adventureland, Worlds of Fun, SDC? Let me set the stage for you.

 

The American Midwest, destination of a lifetime! Experience our endless cornfields. Marvel at the cheapness of our gas. Wonder how many miles until the next restroom when you really have to pee. And best of all, ride some good coasters run by friendly people who have great food.

 

TL;DR version: Come toward the cinnamon bread.

 

I've had a Valleyfair / Mall of America / Target Field weekend trip in mind for awhile now actually. I'm sure it'll happen eventually. Brit's on board, now I just need to save up for airfare and pull the trigger.

Sounds good! We really enjoyed the Twin Cities. Don't listen to the complainers; Valleyfair! and NU are doing just fine. They're both definitely open-to-close parks. MoA is on the light rail (basically an above-ground subway), and you can catch that back to your flight home. Save you some on the rental car (which you'll definitely need to get to Valleyfair!).

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The TMNT on the entrance gate looks like he's been frozen mid-plummet to his death. Nickelodeon is dark AF.

 

(btw unrelated but notable - I recently learned that the kids book series Animorphs is all about committing war crimes and they even go in front of a tribunal and at one point turn handicapped kids into animals so that they are killed and that was possibly the wildest thing I'd ever heard. so bring on the Animorphs theme park obviously)

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  • 1 month later...

Same old same old

 

http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2016/11/american_dream_deferred_developer_postpones_115b_b.html

 

American Dream deferred: developer postpones $1.15B bond issue

November 4, 2016

John Reitmeyer

 

State officials say it's only a minor glitch in getting financing for the planned megamall and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands

 

The developer of the long-stalled American Dream mall and entertainment complex at the former Xanadu site in the Meadowlands has missed another key deadline this week with the delay of a crucial $1.15 billion bond issue.

 

State officials who've been helping to usher the project through to completion say this latest delay should only be temporary, attributing the holdup to the complicated nature of developer Triple Five's latest effort to raise the billions of dollars it needs to fully resume construction at the state-owned site near the New Jersey Turnpike in East Rutherford that's known for its large and oft-derided multicolored buildings.

 

But still unclear is exactly how big of a setback the delay will prove to be. Triple Five executives suggested in court documents filed in late September in the face of a lawsuit that unsuccessfully sought to block the bond sale that the stakes were extremely high. Missing this week's deadline could risk "default and/or foreclosure and the likely failure altogether of American Dream," the developer's court documents said.

 

Spokesmen for Triple Five did not comment on the delayed bond sale yesterday, which was first reported in a story published by The Record newspaper. A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, whose administration has put up more than $1 billion in state tax incentives to help get the project to the finish line, pointed to comments the governor made several months ago about American Dream's fate now resting in the hands of the Canada-based developer and its ability to find investors.

 

Triple Five, the owner of the sprawling Mall of America in Minnesota, took over the project from another developer in 2011 but has faced numerous delays and missed deadlines, including the shelving of another planned bond sale last year.

 

But over the summer this year Triple Five seemed to have been reinvigorated, winning approval from two different state agencies for yet another version of its complex state-assisted finance package. The developer's latest financing plan involves raising $350 million via the sale of tax-exempt bonds backed by a tax incentive authorized by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and another $800 million by selling tax-exempt bonds backed by a regular payment in lieu of taxes from the developer under state redevelopment law.

 

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the Wisconsin Public Finance Authority are both being utilized to facilitate the tax-exempt component of the bond sale, which involves nonrecourse bonds that state officials have promised will shift all risk to potential investors, not taxpayers, in the event the project fails.

 

Triple Five, meanwhile, has been planning to raise another $1.5 billion in a related transaction from private investors. Taken together, company officials have said the financing package would raise the cash it needs to resume construction at the sprawling site in the NJSEA-owned sports complex. The proceeds would also help Triple Five pay off a prior construction loan that comes due in early November, company executives said in documents submitted to the state Superior Court's Appellate Division after an unsuccessful legal challenge mounted in September by a group that opposed the developer's use of the state tax incentives.

 

Despite the strong statements made by Triple Five executives in the court documents, a spokesman for NJSEA suggested in a statement yesterday that the delay of the bond sale beyond the early November deadline may only be temporary.

 

"The NJSEA is working diligently through the complex and multifaceted document preparation and review process," the statement from spokesman Brian Aberback said. "This intricate process involves several entities and it is important that the NJSEA conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis prior to taking the next step toward the completion of American Dream."

 

"The Authority expects the public offering of the bonds to take place this month," the statement said. Other questions were referred to Triple Five's spokesmen, who did not comment.

 

If the project does remain on schedule, it would mean a mid-2018 opening for American Dream, which represents an expansion of the Xanadu complex once envisioned by Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and later taken over by another developer, Colony Capital. Triple Five's latest plans are more ambitious than the original Xanadu concept, calling for a 3-million-square-foot complex that will feature retail stores, restaurants, movie theater, indoor amusement park, ski slope, ice rink, Ferris wheel, aquarium, and 18-hole miniature golf course.

 

Christie, who once called the vacant complex "the ugliest damn building in America," had at one point boldly predicted American Dream would open by early 2014, just as the state was preparing to host the National Football League's Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium, also located in the state-owned sports complex.

 

Facing questions last June about the project's subsequent delays and setbacks, as well as the likelihood that American Dream now wouldn't open until after he leaves office in early 2018, Christie said it was no longer a "front-burner" issue for his administration.

 

"We'll keep plugging away, but I think it's really, quite frankly, now in the hands of the developers and the credit markets and who's willing to invest and who's not willing to invest," Christie said at the time.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Construction has resumed for a few days before it inevitably stalls again.

 

Construction workers back on job at American Dream

 

Dozens of construction workers have been seen on the site of American Dream Meadowlands in recent days, suggesting that the long-stalled shopping and entertainment project might finally be heading in the right direction.

 

But a public offering of $1.15 billion in bonds - which a state official four weeks ago said were expected to be issued by the end of November - still has not been made in the wake of a grim bond market that's slid following the election of Donald Trump.

 

The Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Total Return Index of bonds fell 4 percent in November - the biggest decline since the index started in 1990. Investors pulled $10.7 billion from U.S. bond funds in the two weeks after Trump’s victory.

 

A Triple Five spokesman did not offer a comment on when the bonds for American Dream might be issued.

 

The delay comes in spite of expressions of urgency more than two months ago.

 

On Sept. 23, a three-judge state Appellate Court panel rejected an injunction request by the New Jersey Alliance for Fiscal Integrity, which questioned the legality of the bond structure.

 

A day earlier, Triple Five Chief Operating Officer Martin Walrath urged the court to make a timely resolution of the dispute.

 

"In order for the Project to proceed, both aspects of the financial package must close by November 3, 2016," Walrath wrote in a brief to the court, underlining the word "must" while also putting the word in boldface. "Without a final unappealable decision by September 30, the Financing Package will be irretrievably lost, and without the Financing Package, the Project will not proceed and economic benefits to the region will be permanently lost."

 

Robert Tuteur, who is serving as bond counsel for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, also informed the court on Sept. 23 that a ruling had to be made within a week for the project to go forward.

 

The project's latest opening date target was the fall of 2018, and previous estimates have called for 18 to 24 months of construction once work resumes. The water and amusement park complex still must be built, and a connector also will have to be constructed to link the parks to the 2.3-million-square-foot, multi-colored structure that has been in place for a decade. Triple Five has promised to extensively remodel the exterior — mainly replacing much-ridiculed red, orange, yellow, green, and blue sections with more neutral tones.

 

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority chose the Mills Corp./Mack-Cali in 2003 to develop Meadowlands Xanadu, as the project was initially known, in February 2003, but neither Mills nor a second developer that took control of the effort, Colony Capital, was able to complete the plan. Triple Five took over in 2011 and rebranded the complex as American Dream Meadowlands, adding a water and amusement park complex similar to one at Triple Five’s West Edmonton Mall in Canada. The Mall of America in Minnesota, which Triple Five also owns, has an indoor amusement park similar to the one planned in East Rutherford.

 

Nickelodeon has been announced as the branding partner for the amusement park, while DreamWorks Animation characters will be featured in the water park.

 

- NorthJersey.com, Bloomberg News

 

... whatever

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Thanks Bill,

 

I was going to post this yesterday and wait for the negativity, but you succeeded in killing two birds with one stone and saving me some precious time.

 

I'm here to help.

 

Anyway... there's nothing I find more entertaining than when people who are working on an overly ambitious project that can't get out of it's own way announce even more overly ambitious updates to their overly ambitious project to further decrease the likelihood of any of it ever happening that will (inevitably) lead to even more massive setbacks and delays in the future. So without further ado...

 

 

EAST RUTHERFORD -- American Dream will trade in its maligned orange and blue facade for a gleaming white exterior, its developer announced.

 

Triple Five released renderings Monday showing American Dream with an exterior made up of white vertical panels and black trimming.

 

The renderings depict the bigger tenants that have signed leases with American Dream, including Nickelodeon Universe, Dreamworks, Lord & Tayor and Saks Fifth Avenue, also draped in the white-and-black covering. Triple Five has sought to redesign the exterior of American Dream since taking over the project, formerly known as Xanadu, in 2011.

ADVERTISING

inRead invented by Teads

 

"Our vision is to create an elegant and visually exciting facade that will showcase the exceptional retail and entertainment destinations found inside American Dream," said Don Ghermezian, president of Triple Five Worldwide.

 

Construction work is underway at American Dream, Triple Five said. Work had been delayed since April, when Triple Five ran into trouble securing financing for the multi-billion dollar project.

 

A court cleared the way in September for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, the landlord of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, where the mall is being built, to issue $1.15 billion in bonds to help finish construction. Triple Five plans to pair that money with another $1.5 billion in private financing.

 

However, NJSEA had not issued the bonds as planned in early November. The agency expected to offer the bonds by the end of November, but spokesmen for NJSEA and Triple Five would not confirm whether the sale had taken place.

 

The delay has not shaken the faith of the tenants who have signed leases with American Dream. Snow Operating, the company that will run the 12-story indoor ski park at the center, is still committed to the project, said Hugh Reynolds, vice president of marketing and sales for the company.

 

"With an undertaking as large and complex as this is, it was fully expected that there would be some hurdles along the way," Reynolds said.

 

Larry M. Mentzer, Jr., chief revenue officer for Century 21 Department Stores, said the company was still excited about American Dream.

 

"We are currently in the planning process for a proposed 2018 opening in conjunction with the grand opening of the mall," he said.

 

Tiffany Boure, a spokeswoman for Hudson's Bay Company, said nothing had changed the company's plans to open Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Saks Off Fifth stores at American Dream.

 

Tony Armlin, senior vice president of development for Triple Five, said in August that American Dream would open in summer 2018. The latest announcement now says the mall will open in fall of that year.

 

The project was first proposed in 2002. Gov. Chris Christie has called it the "ugliest damn building in New Jersey."

 

NJ.com

 

PS: Be honest, when you saw this thread was bumped, how many of you thought it was because construction was halted again?

 

PPS: I know it's just a basic rendering that means nothing but is that a f**king Zacspin to go along with the already stellar coaster collection from their other marketing pieces?

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Given that this is year 14 of construction and they just announced that they're going to overhaul the entire exterior in addition to actually building the huge water park, theme park and enormous buildings that will house them I have to assume that Houston's next theme park will be announced, built, opened, closed, re-opened under new ownership, closed permanently, sit abandoned for a few years and then be redeveloped as luxury condominiums before this stupid mall ever opens.

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I wouldn't discount that flyover rendering completely. I do these sort of things, and it looks like something I'd do at the very end of the concept phase. It also matches up with this model from ProSlide's booth at the Expo this year...

 

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I wouldn't discount that flyover rendering completely. I do these sort of things, and it looks like something I'd do at the very end of the concept phase.

 

I'm thrilled to hear that we may have reached the end of the concept phase a mere decade and a half into construction but I still think you're underestimating the amount of legal and financial bullsh*t that will occur between now and the end of the project (if there ever is an end to the project).

 

You clearly know way more about this type of thing than I do, but this isn't a normal construction project. This is the American Dream mall. There's a difference.

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Nah, you're good. Whether this thing actually gets built the way they want is obviously still a huge question mark, but I think that this is probably the last "design" iteration that they'll go through.

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Is this one of the most delayed/stalled/cancelled projects ever? If you had to bet on this opening or Houston getting a real park which would you put your money on?

 

This is what's crazy about this project to me, I remember them breaking ground for it in 2004 because it affected the parking situation at the arena where the NHL Devils play.... The Devils a year later broke ground on their new arena in Newark, got it built and now next season it will be their 10th year in the new arena and this place still isn't open lol

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it in 2004 because it affected the parking situation at the arena where the NHL Devils play.... The Devils a year later broke ground on their new arena in Newark, got it built and now next season it will be their 10th year in the new arena and this place still isn't open lol

 

Or to put it another way... in 2004 it also affected the parking situation for the New Jersey Nets who also played at Continental Airlines Arena with the Devils. SIX YEARS LATER they left the arena (by then called the IZOD center) for that same brand new arena in Newark that the Devils originally left for way after the Devils got there. After the move they broke ground on a brand new arena in New York, played for a few seasons in Newark, left the state of New Jersey entirely, moved to the now completed arena in Brooklyn and are now celebrating their 5th season in the arena that they broke ground on almost a decade AFTER they started the American Dream mall which still isn't done and still looks almost exactly the same as it did before the Nets left the Meadowlands (2 arenas ago).

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