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A 'critical step' forward as Triple Five secures development rights to American Dream

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Triple Five has promised to address the multicolored exterior of Xanadu that's been the source of much griping about the project.
Triple Five has promised to address the multicolored exterior of Xanadu that's been the source of much griping about the project. - (Aaron Houston / NJBIZ)

Developer Triple Five has officially taken control of the failed Xanadu project after closing Wednesday on a deal that transferred the rights to the Meadowlands property from the lenders who have held it for nearly three years.

Alan Marcus, a spokesman for the Edmonton, Canada-based developer, confirmed the deal was signed Thursday. He declined to discuss terms of the deal or other details.

In May, the agency overseeing the Meadowlands Sports Complex voted to allow the lenders to transfer the property's ground lease and development rights to Triple Five, which is seeking to revive Xanadu as American Dream Meadowlands. Plans for the long-stalled retail and entertainment megaproject have moved ahead in recent months despite a pending lawsuit with the New York Giants and Jets, who oppose an expansion they say would cripple traffic around MetLife Stadium.

A representative for the teams was not immediately available to comment this morning.

Marcus said "we're moving along," as the group is looking to complete its financing and resume construction shortly.

"This is a very complex project, and this is just one more critical step," Marcus said.

The transfer comes a decade after Xanadu's original developer, Mills Co., broke ground on the now-infamous project. The complex was supposed to open in 2007, but was derailed by financial woes and litigation — problems that have plagued subsequent developers as the building's now-infamous exterior languishes at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

In May 2010, then-developer Colony Capital turned the project over to a consortium of lenders. Gov. Chris Christie soon turned to Triple Five, owner of the Mall of America, in Minnesota, to rescue the project as American Dream Meadowlands.

Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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