Xanadu. American Dream. Meadowlands Nightmare. Whatever it’s been called since its inception (some of which we can’t even name here), the much-maligned project is history. It’s sinking and threatening the stability of MetLife Stadium leaving the state no choice but to tear it down. Some feel it’s a tragic waste while others are cheering louder than after a Victor Cruz touchdown salsa dance.
“Mistakes were made” said Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor Melissa Orsen. “Building on swampland is always a difficult proposition even if the land has gone through the reclamation process.” In the case of the American Dream Mall, the foundation is already showing signs that it is unstable and sinking. Rumors of this sort swirled around the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack, NY, in the late-nineties shortly after it opened but they wound up being unfounded. The American Dream Mall’s problems, though, have been confirmed by inspectors with the only recourse being to dismantle it as its sinking also threatens the stability of MetLife Stadium, home of the 2014 Super Bowl. In addition to the swamp-based foundation issues, engineers miscalculated the building’s weight and dead load numbers as a result of some of its unique features.
Drawing similarities between this and the failed tunnel project from a couple years ago, Governor Christie stated “I am not willing to throw any more tax payer dollars into this black hole and risk being the laughing stock of the country by being the first place to fail at delivering the Super Bowl. That is not an option!” The problem he is referring to is that the American Dream’s foundation lies so close to Giants Stadium that it may sink or shift the stadium’s foundation as well. Even worse, the playing field could end up with one side lower than the other.
2013 is the 10th anniversary of the approval of the project originally known as Xanadu. The ordeal for the state of New Jersey began in September of 2004 when the construction began. Beset by problem after problem, what was never a good idea in the first place seems now to have been cursed to failure since the very beginning. Last year, the lack of businesses interested in renting space in the new mall made the news so maybe this is a good thing. There are plenty of stores right now that are barely getting by. Opening up a bunch of new ones will simply take more of their business away and spread consumers even thinner.
“There will be a full investigation and heads will roll!” Christie proclaimed in his official statement on these new developments. “We need to eliminate this mess so we can move forward, grow existing businesses and bring the parties that were interested in leasing space in the American Dream Mall into other empty retail locations across the state.”
Concept art for proposed shopping centers are always grandiose and amazing. The promotional materials for the Xanadu/Meadowlands/American Dream were no exception. Too bad we will never know if the American Dream mall would have lived up to expectations… it’s over. That ship, it seems, has sunk!
We don’t know who will win the Super Bowl next year, but we do know that the swamp has won its battle against this doomed shopping and entertainment complex. Xana-doomed!
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