Mall developer Triple Five has resumed construction of the first phase of its six million square feet American Dream megamall in East Rutherford, as it nears a permanent funding deal that will enable the company to finish the long-awaited project.
Sandi Danick, senior vice president of leasing at Triple Five, said construction restarted at the project after it had stalled for some time in March, according to a report from Forbes.com.
Danick said the first phase of the project is 74 percent leased to date. Including thje recent KidsZania signing and other deals, the developer expects the first phase will be 82 percent leased by this summer.
The first phase of the project will comprise a three million square shopping and entertainment complex, featuring the country’s first indoor ski slope, an indoor water park, an amusement park and hundreds of retailers.
“I think once it opens, it should be really successful,” said Susan Kurland, executive vice president and co-head of Savills Studley’s global retail services group, pointing to the fact that around 35 percent of the tenancy at American Dream is entertainment-oriented.
Kurland, who is not invovled in the leasing of the mall, added, “And that’s what’s going to keep people coming back.”
American Dream’s developer has been tight-lipped on new lease signings or updates on construction for the project, but has confirmed a Fall 2018 opening is still on the cards.
The retail mecca has been on the drawing board since 2002 when the NJ Sports and Exposition Authority issued an RFP for the project.
The former Mills Corporation and Mack-Cali in partnership with NJSEA initially won the RFP with a plan that was then dubbed Xanadu.
In 2006, Colony Capital took control of the venture when Mills blundered towards bankruptcy. Triple Five, the company behind The Mall of America, took over in 2011 when the mall was 80 percent built and expected to open in time for the 2014 Super Bowl.