New Jersey’s long-delayed American Dream entertainment and shopping project in the Meadowlands is poised to offer a $1.15 bond billion sale.
With developer Triple Five having closed on $1.6 billion in construction loans this past Friday through JPMorgan, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority now expects a bond offering by mid-June.
The NJESA first authorized the bond sale last summer to be held on behalf of Triple Five and then purchased by Wisconsin's Public Finance Authority for marketing to investors. Goldman Sachs is lead underwriter on the planned transaction aimed at completing the mega-mall in East Rutherford, N.J. first conceived 14 years ago that will feature 2.3 million square-feet of leasable retail space along with an indoor water park, ski slope and amusement park.
“Finally we are nearing the sunlight and Triple 5 has demonstrated they are providing their own resources to back up the commitment they made from day one to bring this exciting project to the State of New Jersey,” NJESA president and CEO Wayne Hasenbalg said in a statement. “The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority will continue to partner with Triple 5 to finalize the necessary financing to bring thousands of construction jobs to the Meadowlands and years of long term economic benefit to our region and the State of New Jersey.”
The NJESA green-lighted a non-recourse bond transaction last August that includes $800 million connected to a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement between Triple Five and the borough of East Rutherford with the remaining $350 million backed by state-approved tax breaks on anticipated sales tax revenue at the property located next to MetLife Stadium. Triple Five shifted to a tax-exempt transaction through the PFA in a response to market shifts after previously planning to sell $675 million in taxable bonds through East Rutherford and $350 million from the NJSEA.
“For East Rutherford it will generate millions of revenue dollars starting with a payment of almost 24 million dollars that we will receive when the bonds are issued,” said East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella. “After 15 years, millions, if not billions, of dollars being spent, and the time and efforts of so many people, we finally we finally have something to show for it instead of a half built project that had become an embarrassment in the heart of the Meadowlands District right across the road from Met Life Stadium.”
Construction of the large-scale Bergen County development was first halted in 2009 when Xanadu was developer after a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers missed loan payments following a bankruptcy filing. Triple Five is planning for a March 2019 opening after saying last year it hoped the site would be ready by 2018.