NUTLEY - At a town hall event in Nutley this afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie said he still has big hopes for the troubled Xanadu retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands.

After his usual message about pension and benefit reform, the governor said he's willing to put state money into Xanadu in exchange for an ownership stake, but said changes must be made first.

Christie called the complex the ugliest building in the state and "a reminder of the failure" of the sprawling $2 billion complex, which was originally scheduled to open in 2007. He called for an overhaul to the exterior appearance of the building.

In December, Triple Five, which owns the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, signed a letter of intent with the lenders of the Xanadu complex to complete the development.