Gov. Chris Christie will revive the stalled Xanadu amusement complex at the Meadowlands in northeastern New Jersey with the help of nearly $200 million of state financing.
The state and developer Triple Five Worldwide Development Co. LLC, which owns the Mall of America in Minnesota, reached an agreement last week. Officials are set to announce details of the development Tuesday morning, according to Maureen Bausch, executive vice president at Triple Five.
The project will be renamed American Dream/Meadowlands.
The developer plans to expand the site to three million square feet and include a theme park, water park, skating, and mini-golf in addition to the retail and dining components originally planned for the site.
The development also includes an indoor ski slope and theatres.
Triple Five also plans to revamp Xanadu’s colorful and multi-patterned exterior, which most residents view as an eyesore, according to a recent poll on the project.
The goal is to begin construction immediately and unveil the first phase of the development in fall 2013, Bausch said. Next to the development site is the New Meadowlands Stadium, where National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets play. The stadium will host the 2014 Super Bowl.
Triple Five will spend $1 billion to complete the project, according to a report in the New York Times. In addition, the state will extend $180 million to $200 million of low-interest financing and hand over future sales-tax revenues of a similar amount.
Bausch said it was too early to discuss the financing of the project. A spokesman for the governor did not respond to an e-mail requesting comment on possible state financing.
The state began the Xanadu project several years ago with a different developer. Financial trouble halted construction in 2009.
Canada-based Triple Five is developer and operator of other large-scale retail and entertainment facilities, including the 4.2-million-square-foot Mall of America and the 5.3 million square-foot West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada. The developer believes it has the experience to make the long-delayed project a financial success.
“Certainly we understand these kinds of developments,” Bausch said. “We operate two of them and they are successful. We know what it takes financially to do it — what it takes from a merchandise mix and an entertainment mix — and how to make them profitable. That’s the absolute, number-one goal. That they’re an economic engine for the state and the region.”