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From Tax Codes to Traffic, a Megamall’s Risks


Model of proposed East Rutherford, New Jersey mall, the American Dream
(Ilya Marritz / WNYC)

Jun 5, 2017 · by Ilya Marritz

The company behind American Dream, Triple Five of Canada, is detailing its vision for a mall-entertainment destination in the Meadowlands in New Jersey — and the hazards that could derail the project.

Since the concept of a shopping destination on state-owned marshland was first green-lit in 2003, the mall has encountered many problems. Two earlier developers gave up on the project, formerly known as “Xanadu.”

Now, Triple Five is looking to raise $2.8 billion to finance the final phases of construction. More than half of the funding will be arranged privately through  J.P. Morgan Chase. The remaining $1.1 billion is expected to  come from the sale of tax-free, unrated, government bonds.

For that bond sale, two preliminary offering memoranda are now in circulation: one is for an $800 million bond package backed by payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT); the other is for a $300 million bond package backed by sales tax receipts generated after American Dream opens. The bonds are being sold by the Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin, which is serving as a middleman between the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and investors.

The documents — over 1,800 pages of them — disclose a wide array of risks that potential investors will have to consider.

2 thoughts on “From Tax Codes to Traffic, a Megamall’s Risks

  1. This project is past its prime.

    People are not going to malls anymore. Is this place a mall or amusement park?

  2. this place is a big wast of money.

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