WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
This week the Christie administration announced plans for events building up to next year's Super Bowl, which will be held at the Jets and Giant's MetLife Stadium. But the American Dream mega-mall is missing from the state's ambitious plans.
In late 2010, Governor Christie announced that the owners of Mall of America, Triple 5, would take over the long stalled Xanadu mall project next to the new football stadium and have it open for business by the 2014 Super Bowl.
Now sources close to the roject say it won't be ready.
As part of the deal, Triple 5 committed to re-brand the 2-million-square-foot stalled mall the American Dream Meadowlands, an entertainment and retail complex with an indoor water park and ski slope.
But last year, the Jets and Giants sued to stop the project because of concerns over its potential impact on traffic. Now, both sides in the dispute confirm that talks to resolve it are intensifying and a settlement may be weeks away.
The project remains controversial and critics say the state has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a project that failed to materialize. But Governor Christie told WNYC that tearing it down could cost as much as $100 million dollars.