American Dream developers get keys to former Xanadu entertainment complex on Route 3

MEADOWLANDS — In what amounted to the next phase of a project first envisioned in the early 1990s, the fate of the former Xanadu project on Route 3 in East Rutherford is now in the hands of American Dream Meadowlands.
Developer Triple Five closed on the property on July 31 and was given the keys to what has become something of a white elephant development to this point. But the builders expect to see a ground breaking on the $1.9 billion entertainment project sometime in August.
Construction is estimated to last between 18-24 months.
“It’s about time they started to do something,” said Secaucus Mayor Michael Gonnelli this week.
Secaucus is east of the empty shell of the patricianly constructed retail and entertainment complex, which to some has become a multi-colored eyesore. “I just hope that the developers live up to all the commitments they’ve made,” he said.
First proposed as a themed mall in the 1990s by a company that has successfully constructed themed malls in Florida and elsewhere, the project stagnated and shifted ownership several times. Work ceased for years until Gov. Christopher Christie pushed for the project to be completed.
The current proposal is even larger than the original concept and would create a glass-domed water park, and an amusement park inspirited by DreamWorks Animation. There will also be an indoor ski area, a performing arts center, a movie theater, and more than 400 retail shops and 50 restaurants.

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