‘Legoland’ coming to Meadowlands Xanadu Route 3 development announces major tenant

A Legoland Discovery Centre will be among the featured attractions at the $2 billion Meadowlands Xanadu sports and entertainment complex on Route 3, the developers announced last week.
The Xanadu project is expected to open in November.
The project’s developer describes Legoland as a 44,000-square-foot interactive “virtual city” for families with children ages 2 through 12. The attraction takes its name from the popular interlocking Lego blocks that have long been a children’s favorite since they were first produced in Denmark in 1949.
Legoland will feature rotating exhibitions of Lego models from “master builders;” play areas where kids can make their own Lego creations; a DUPLO play section for younger children; a dragon ride; an interactive 4D cinema; and party rooms.
Legoland Discovery Centres differ from the theme park-oriented Legoland attractions, such as the one based in Carlsbad, Calif., which includes rides. The Discovery Centres are more interactive and attempt to include a learning component, similar to educational science centers.
There are several other Lego-themed attractions throughout the world, including in England and Denmark.
“When you walk in, you are going to see a ‘city’ that’s entirely fabricated out of Legos. Activities will range from the hands-on Lego play to the life-sized Lego adventures, which would be the dragon ride and an adventure trail. It’s going to be a self-contained world for kids,” said Meadowlands Xanadu spokesman Richard Edmonds.Second biggest

The Legoland attraction at Xanadu will be the second and the largest of its kind to open in the U.S. Currently there is a Legoland Discovery Centre under construction outside of Chicago. The Illinois attraction is expected to open to the public this spring. Parents and children will have to pay an admission fee to access Legoland. Edmonds said, “That fee hasn’t been determined yet. But, it will be a family-friendly price.” Visitors to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Germany pay an admission fee that is the U.S. equivalent of $15, according to Edmonds. In ‘Youth Culture District’

Legoland will be situated in Xanadu’s Youth Culture District, one of five theme-oriented districts in the complex. The remaining four districts will be dedicated to fashion, home furnishings, entertainment, and sports. The U.K.-based Merlin Entertainments Group – which developed the London Eye, possibly the most popular tourist attraction in England right now – will operate Legoland Xanadu. Other attractions

Merlin is also on board to lease and operate Xanadu’s Pepsi Globe, a 287-foot-tall Ferris wheel that will give riders a view of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River. Each 25-minute ride can accommodate up to 520 visitors at a time in “glass enclosed, climate-controlled capsules,” according to Edmonds. Other attractions expected for Xanadu include an indoor snow dome and a skydiving tower. The private equity company Colony Capital, which took over for the embattled Mills Corporation in August 2006, is now developing the massive project. When completed, Meadowlands Xanadu will have a total of 4.8 million square feet, with 2.3 million square feet available for lease. Some critics and observers of the project recently speculated that the recession was affecting the developer’s ability to attract tenants after a report released in January showed that Colony Capital had lease commitments for one-third of Xanadu’s rentable space. Colony Capital, however, said it is on track to find major tenants.


© 2000, Newspaper Media Group