EAST RUTHERFORD - After years of delays, work will finally begin on a Meadowlands megamall in the next few weeks after the developer signed a union agreement.
The organization, known as Triple Five, signed the deal for the project with Bergen County Building and Construction in East Rutherford Monday. The American Dream mall is expected to create 9,000 to 10,000 new jobs. It is projected to be finished in late 2016.
"You'll start to see foundation work done, piles driven," says Paul Ghermezian, of Triple Five Developers. "In fact, there is some work that has already been done. You can see that today."
The mall, first called "Xanadu," was originally scheduled to open in 2007. When the economy turned in 2009, work stopped. Triple Five took over the project at the end of 2010.
The project has faced multiple hurdles since it began. In recent years, it hung in limbo as the Meadowlands, the Triple Five, and the Jets and Giants battled in court.
Gov. Chris Christie says he is glad to see the development moving forward. "I'm so glad we've been able to work through what has been a really long, arduous and maddening process to get to this day," he says.
The $2 billion complex will include an indoor water and amusement park, indoor ski slope, restaurants, shops and a movie theater. Developers expect the megamall will draw about 60 million visitors every year.
Christie has called the complex the ugliest building in New Jersey. The developer says it will completely redo the highly criticized multi-colored façade. The new façade will be one color and made of steel and glass.