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Giants, Jets reach deal with Triple Five over American Dream project

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The Giants and Jets have reached a deal with Triple Five over the American Dream project.
The Giants and Jets have reached a deal with Triple Five over the American Dream project.

The legal battle between Triple Five and the Giants and Jets apparently has come to an end, clearing the way for the developer to complete the American Dream Meadowlands project at the site of the failed Xanadu retail and entertainment complex.

A spokesman for the developer, Alan Marcus, confirmed Tuesday that both parties had dropped lawsuits against one another that loomed over the unfinished project in East Rutherford. The settlement could set the stage for the Edmonton, Canada-based developer to move forward with construction after nearly two years of litigation, one of many delays and problems during more than a decade of efforts to develop at the site by owners.

The story was first reported Tuesday by The Record, which said terms of the tentative deal were not available because the settlement was filed as "confidential" in Superior Court in Hackensack.

The two National Football League teams filed lawsuits in 2012 and 2013 seeking to block a proposed expansion by Triple Five, arguing it would cripple game-day traffic around MetLife Stadium. While Triple Five said it needed the expansion to make the project economically viable, the clubs said the plan violates an agreement with the project's former developer that effectively gave them veto power over potentially harmful changes.

But the tentative settlement comes more than a decade after Xanadu's original developer, Mills Co., broke ground on the project at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The site 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.

As it currently stands, the project site includes an incomplete five-story facility that officials anticipate will be developed into 2.1 million square feet of leasable retail and restaurant space alongside an additional 639,000 square feet of space for an indoor amusement park and a water park. The project also will include roughly 600,000 square feet of common area.

The project took a critical step forward last fall when the state Economic Development Authority approved a $390 million Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant — the largest ever of its kind — to Triple Five to finish it within a six-year time period.

Current total project costs were estimated at the time to be $2.5 billion.

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