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New Jersey News

American Dream Not Realized In Time For Super Bowl

Saturday, February 01, 2014

NJPR

As thousands flock to MetLife Stadium this weekend, the vision of a huge money-making entertainment  complex next door has turned into a mirage.

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WNYC News

Exclusive: Xanadu Won't Be Ready For Super Bowl

Saturday, January 26, 2013

WNYC

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.

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New Jersey News

Judge: Giants, Jets Suit Over Megamall Premature

Thursday, August 09, 2012

A judge has dismissed part of a lawsuit filed by the New York Giants and New York Jets to halt a megamall in New Jersey's Meadowlands, though the teams can still file legal challenges.

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New Jersey News

DreamWorks Plans Theme Park for Meadowlands

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DreamWorks announced its plans to create an indoor theme park in the New Jersey Meadowlands — the Hollywood studio’s first — that would feature attractions based on its hit productions “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda” and others.

 

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New Jersey News

Football Rivals Team Up Against Possible Traffic Tie-ups from Mega-Mall

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Concerns about potential traffic from the expansion of the former Xanadu mega-mall project at the Meadowland has brought together unusual allies: the Sierra Club, the New York Jets and Giants.

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WNYC News

Xanadu Re-Do Looks to Expand Footprint in NJ

Monday, November 14, 2011

Supporters of the American Dream Meadowlands project – formerly known as Xanadu – will plead their case this week for the filling of five acres of wetlands to permit the expansion of the stalled project’s footprint to more than three million square feet.

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WNYC News

NJ Residents Say No State Subsidy for Xanadu Re-Do: Poll

Monday, October 10, 2011

By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, New Jersey voters oppose any state subsidy for the developers trying to finish the long-stalled Xanadu mega-mall that has been re-branded as "American Dream Meadowlands," according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind Poll released Monday.

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WNYC News

Long-Stalled Mega-Mall Xanadu Gets $350M Backing

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that will provide hundreds of millions of dollars to revive the stalled Xanadu Mall and several other projects across the state.

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Transportation Nation

Deal to Save NJ's Xanadu Chips Away At Affordable Housing Near Urban Transit Centers

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

 

A concept drawing for the Xanadu/American Dreams Meadowlands mall project (Bob Hennelly/WNYC)

In order to grant corporate tax incentives to resurrect New Jersey's moribund Xanadu shopping complex, Governor Chris Christie needed the Democratically-controlled state legislature to follow through with legislation (pdf). The bill would grant at least $200 million in tax credits to a company to finish the stalled  project -- now to be rebranded as American Dream Meadowlands.

And as WNYC's Bob Hennelly reports, that is not all that the bill does.

Democrats used the opportunity to radically alter the state's Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act, which offers significant tax credits to developers undertaking residential construction near mass-transit in urban centers like Camden and Newark.

Under the current program, developers had to commit to set aside 20 percent of developments for affordable housing units for low and moderate income households. In return, they would get a state tax credit equivalent to 20 percent of the cost of their investment.

Under the new legislation, developers are now going to be able to get a 35 percent tax credit for their construction costs, and they will no longer be required to provide affordable housing.

Read Bob Hennelly's report here.

 

 

 

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It's A Free Blog

Stucknation: Xanadu Gets Legislative Boost From NJ Leaders

Saturday, July 02, 2011

This ugly building is now a dirty deal for the taxpayers, and it is kind of like the Vietnam of malls"

-Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel on the American Dreams Meadowland project

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It's A Free Country ®

Christie on the Pension Deal, NJN and Xanadu

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fresh off his legislative victory curbing state worker benefits, New Jersey governor Chris Christie talks about his bi-partisan strategy to put the deal together, the future of the state's public broadcasting assets and the stalled Xanadu mall project.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: NY Tells Bikers "Don't Be A Jerk", and Demand for Used Cars Is Up...And So Are Prices

Monday, May 09, 2011

Demand for used cars is up -- and so are the prices. (NPR)

Transportation officials are planning a number of security upgrades along Los Angeles County's network of rail lines over the next year, including a chemical-detection system and scores of new video surveillance cameras. (Los Angeles Times)

The NYPD said two episodes of subway tunnel trespassing this weekend weren't terror-related, but they warn the city's subway system is so big it's possible for intruders to enter blocked areas. (AP)

The NTSB begins a two-day forum on truck and bus crashes today; watch the live webcast here.

A new report says Philadelphia has twice as many bike commuters as any other large city. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Nicole Gelinas op-ed in Sunday's Star-Ledger: Xanadu isn't infrastructure, unless you're a teenager.

NYC unveiled its "Don't Be a Jerk" bike safety campaign. Watch the video below to see the DOT chief experience what must be a moment of catharsis (her cameo is at :15).

Been wondering what Viennese bike rap looks like? Your wait is over.

The US Post Office issues "Go Green" stamps; out of each sheet of 16, five are transportation related: “Share rides,” “Choose to walk,” “Ride a bike,” “Use public transportation,” and “Maintain tire pressure.” (Alt Transport)

Oh, if only: imaginary instructions for an Ikea-made car. A Djiloriann, no less. Click the link for visual. (College Humor via Curbed)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

--the Northeast reaps nearly $800 million in Florida's rejected high-speed rail funds -- but will the trains really be high speed? (link)

--NY Senator Schumer: Xanadu money should have gone to ARC tunnel (link)

--consensus has been reached on NY's Central Park bike ticketing (link)

--San Francisco will charge your electric car for free through 2013 (link)

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Transportation Nation

Schumer Caught on Tape: Xanadu Mall Money Should Have Gone to ARC

Monday, May 09, 2011

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood with Rep. Jerrold Nadler (left) and Senators Charles Schumer and Frank Lautenberg (far right) (Photo: Jim O'Grady/WNYC)

WNYC's Jim O'Grady caught this exchange on tape this morning as pols were gathering at Ray LaHood's high speed rail presser at New York's Penn Station -- (Transportation Nation)

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, NYC MTA Chair Jay Walder, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chief Chris Ward, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler.

Schumer: Hey, good to see you!  Mr. Walder, Mr. Secretary, how are you? Chris!

Ward: Senator!

Schumer: How we doing on the, um, Xanadu? I'm very interested in seeing (inaudible) teasing her, and I said the money should have gone to the ARC.

[Schumer was referring to NJ Governor Chris Christie's decision last week to put hundreds of million of dollars of public funding behind a private mall project -- after killing a $9 billion transit tunnel under the Hudson last fall.]

Lautenberg: Yeah well, there wasn't --

Schumer: Didn't they put state money into Xanadu?

Lautenberg:  No. (Inaudible) We're doing good and we're on a mic, so I, uh -- do not feel free to express yourself.  Our Governor is not here, I take it.

Schumer: No.

[The funding is, strictly speaking, Tax Increment Financing,  or TIF meaning sales tax revenue goes straight to finance the project. So it's accurate to say its not state funding -- on the other hand, sales tax would ordinarily go to funding all of a state's needs, just not necessarily building a private mall.]

Lautenberg: He was not invited. (Inaudible) That's why I shut the microphone down.

Lautenberg: [To LaHood, a former Republican Congress member from Peoria] You -- you're the best thing that happened. First of all -- when they said it was going to be a Republican taking this job, I thought we had a Democrat who later on thought he was a Republican.

Schumer: No, he gets along with everybody. You know who pushed for him? Rahm Emanuel.

LaHood: He did. Are we ready?

[Schumer was also recently caught chatting with aides before a conference call -- the New York Times story on that is here.]

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It's A Free Blog

Stucknation: Christie's Xanadu Nightmare Becomes Someone's 'American Dream'

Friday, May 06, 2011

You're an ambitious, high-profile Republican governor of a state in chronic budget crisis and in a nation with a sputtering recovery. The state's corrupt "pay to play" politics, left you a two-million-square-foot mall monstrosity named Xanadu that's yet to open. Its exterior is violently ugly and it is built on state land so close to the Big Apple that its value is through the roof. Worse yet, in just three years, the eyes of the world will be on the monstrosity because your brand new NFL stadium next door is hosting the Superbowl in 2014.

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Transportation Nation

Governor Christie Giving Hundreds of Millions in NJ $$ to Failed Mall Project

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rendering of the now renamed -- and re-funded -- "Xanadu" mail

Our colleague Bob Hennelly over at WNYC has a story reporting that Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who killed an already-in-progress $9 billion transit tunnel under the Hudson River, citing fears of cost overruns, is poised to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in New Jersey funds on a thus far failed mall project.

Also don't miss Bob's terrific, earlier investigative report (also here, co-reported with Michael Grabell of ProPublica) on the so-called "Xanadu" project, documenting how the Port Authority's Board (many of whom had links to the project) approved $200 million for a rail link to the mall.   But as Bob reports, planners expect that most people will still drive to the mall, which will have an energy-guzzling year-round indoor ski-slope, among other services.  That is, if it's completed -- the project has so far stymied four governors and more developers than you can count.

Bob writes of the current developments:

"The Christie Administration is in the final stages of closing a deal with a new developer to revive the moribund Xanadu retail and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands.

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WNYC News

Will the Heroes Behind Mall of America Rescue NJ's Xanadu?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Christie Administration is in the final stages of closing a deal with a new developer to revive the moribund Xanadu retail and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands.

An official close to the deal says the state could provide as much as $400 million dollars in economic development bonds to help the developer complete the $2 billion project. Xanadu was supposed to open before the recession but stalled because of management issues and the economy.

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WNYC News

Financial 411: Xanadu Rescue in the Works

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Economy Grows, Albeit Slowly

The economy grew at a disappointing 1.8 percent annual rate in the first three months of 2011. That's down from 3.1 percent in the final months of last year. The drop is being blamed on harsh winter weather, the ongoing slump in the housing market and higher oil and prices. A sharp drop in state and local government spending also pinched economic growth.

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WNYC News

Mall of America Developer Interested in Xanadu

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The developer behind the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada is now interested in re-developing the Xanadu project in New Jersey's Meadowlands. Triple Five has signed a letter of intent with the lenders of the property.

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WNYC News

Christie Could Back Hundreds of Millions in Bonds for Moribund Xanadu

Thursday, July 22, 2010

WNYC

Gov. Chris Christie came to the new Giants-Jets stadium's 50-yard line to lay out the most dramatic public policy shift for the state's gambling industry and Sports Authority since both were created more than 30 years ago. After the state lost the intitial rounds of roulette on the Xanadu mega-mall here, Christie says he may have no choice but to throw more chips on the table.

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WNYC News

Stimulating NJ's "Stately Pleasure-Dome"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

domeblueBack in 2002, Xanadu, the 2.3 million square foot mega entertainment and retail complex, was intended as a way for New Jersey’s Sport and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) to rebrand its aging Meadowlands Complex. The NJSEA was facing the loss of three of its sports franchises, the Devils, the Nets and the Jets. For years, the commercial potential of the sports complex, just 25 minutes from New York City, had never really materialized. The site was only accessible by auto and traffic jams plagued its busiest days.

New Jersey is always strapped for transportation dollars. So the odds were stacked against the NJSEA to get the hundreds of millions needed for a mass transit link that would only serve Sunday football fans. But if they could add a “Xanadu', that would also include office and hotel development, the Sports Authority could make its case.

Xanadu, As Built, March 17, 2009

Listen to Hennelly's tale of Xanadu:

The Port Authority did shell out $182 million for the 2.3-mile rail spur that ties the entire Meadowlands complex into New Jersey Transit’s rail network. The NJSEA kicked in over $6 million to buy land it needed to complete the rail right of way, also a Superfund site in the midst of remediation.

A rail spur that was supposed to cost $150 million would cost almost 30 percent more and be years behind schedule. It is scheduled now to open in June. As far as holding on to the three sports franchises for the NJSEA? It was one for three. The Devils skated to Newark, the Nets look to be bouncing to Brooklyn and the Jets landed in the neighborhood. They teamed up with the Giants to build a brand new stadium. Was the private public partnership a “win win? Time will tell. Xanadu says it is 70 percent leased, but concedes it does not yet have an anchor retail tenant.

The History: The Vision, Early Supporters, Key Documents

The Vision

Images courtesy of Meadowlands Xanadu
'A world of opportunity'

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