Portion of American Dream set to open spring 2019

Posted: Updated:
EAST RUTHERFORD -

A portion of the long-awaited American Dream entertainment and retail complex at the Meadowlands is set to open this coming spring.

The project has been in the making for about 15 years. East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella says that he hopes his town profits once American Dream is complete.

“It’ll be an economic engine for the Meadowlands district, which I think is very important,” he says.

Cassella says that if American Dream is successful financially, East Rutherford and the surrounding towns will benefit.

“But that’s the question mark,” he says. “Will it be successful financially?”

American Dream sits on land that is tax-exempt. This means that East Rutherford won’t get any property tax revenue from the complex. But the town will receive yearly payments of $2.5 million once the complex opens.

Cassella says that the town will not be willing to relax Bergen County Blue Laws, which ban retail sales on Sundays in the county.

“They’ll be able to go to the water and amusement parks. They’ll be able to go to the movie theater. There’ll be restaurants. There’s ice skating in there. There’s skiing in there. All of that I believe they’ll be able to do,” the mayor says.

Cassella says that he has been dealing with two different developers since the project began. He says that he thinks that the current deal is the best one for the town. But he says that much of it is out of his hands.

“This is not something people asked for. It's not something they were doing flips over. And if it happens, yes that’s good because of the financial aspects of it. But the other side of it is, if it didn't happen, so be it. Our lives will go on,” he says.

The spring 2019 opening will be only for the entertainment and retail areas. The amusement portion is set to open in later in 2019.

American Dream developer Triple Five could not be reached for comment.

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