A deal struck between developer Triple Five, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the Jets and Giants owners will be a boon for the state, Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday.
Not only will it result in the "immediate recommencement" of construction on the previously stalled American Dream project in East Rutherford, but the project will create "thousands" of new construction and permanent jobs while at the same time generating tens of millions in sales and payroll taxes for the state and revenue for Bergen County municipalities, Christie said.
"Having been an advocate for this project since the beginning, I am extremely pleased that American Dream is now finally moving forward," Christie said. "This project will bring thousands of construction jobs and full-time employment to the Meadowlands and be an engine of economic growth for the entire region."
The project is slated to include a fully enclosed amusement park, indoor water park, theater and indoor ski facility. It sits on the site of the failed Xanadu retail and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands.
"Once it's completed and has opened its doors, American Dream will be a dynamic, world-class tourist destination for years to come," Christie said. "I thank everyone involved for their good-faith efforts working together to make American Dream a reality."
News of the deal was first reported by The Record on Tuesday and later confirmed by NJBIZ through Triple Five spokesperson Alan Marcus.
The Jets and Giants had filed lawsuits in 2012 and 2013 to block the proposed expansion put forth by Triple Five, the Canada-based developer that owns the Mall of America in Minnesota, saying it would cripple game-day traffic near MetLife Stadium.
The agreement in place calls for all parties to put forth several mass transit and traffic improvements to complement the parking management plan that has been designed for Meadowlands visitors, especially on days the Jets and Giants play at home.
"This agreement is a huge milestone for the MetLife Sports Complex and the state of New Jersey and crucial in advancing the administration's long-established goal of delivering a world class sports, retail and entertainment destination in the Meadowlands," NJSEA president and CEO Wayne Hasenbalg said.
The project, which now stands as an incomplete five-story building, received a boost in November when the Economic Development Authority approved a $390 million Economic Redevelopment and Growth grant — the largest ever of its kind — for Triple Five to finish it within a six-year time period.
At the time, project costs were estimated to total $2.5 billion.
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