Ugliest Building in New Jersey Getting a Makeover and a Dome
Wednesday, May 4, 2011, by Joey Arak
The Meadowlands' stalled Xanadu mall/entertainment complex/indoor ski slope/boondoggle has been called "the ugliest damn building in New Jersey," and that was by the governor of New Jersey! So yeah, the place is a barrel of laughs, except that it has already cost New Jersey taxpayers $1 billion in financing, tax breaks and highway improvements. Two developers later, New Jersey has just unveiled the latest plan to complete the complex. Triple Five, which runs the Mall of America, is taking over, and Xanadu will be known as American Dream@Meadowlands when it opens in 2013, maybe. The original design was by the esteemed Rockwell Group, but it got bastardized along the way. Plans now call for a pale blue skin to replace the multicolored mess that Xanadu has become. Oh, and check out what's going on inside:
Water slides!!! >>
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.
Sounds...plausible? Triple Five expects Xanadu American Dream@Meadowlands to outdraw the Mall of America, and it has a shot: If it ever gets finished, every spoiled brat in the tri-state area is going to be demanding a birthday blowout there. The Times has photos of the complex's unfinished interior, and it looks just as creepy as you'd assume a massive unfinished empty mall would. Click through for those.
· Developers and Christie Detail a Plan for Xanadu [NYT]