Reporting Peter Haskell
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The structure once referred to by Gov. Chris Christie as the “ugliest building in New Jersey” will soon be getting a major makeover.
The Xanadu retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands will be taken over by developer Triple Five, the same group that owns the Mall of America in Minnesota.
The new developer will invest more than $1 billion and the state will provide up to $200 million in tax breaks, according to a report in the New York Times. Citing sources close to the negotiations, the paper reported the financial incentives will come in the form of sales tax revenue.
Triple’s Five’s director of public relations, Dan Jasper, spoke with 1010 WINS’ Jim Powers and said the company saw the project as a “great opportunity.” He said the project would help create jobs, drive tourism and be a recreational destination for families.
Jim Kirkos, head of the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, was thrilled to hear the news.
“We’re just looking forward to the day when we can brush away the negative, we could get people excited about what the promise is in the project,” he told WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell.
WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell Talks To The Head of the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce
The $2 billion complex was projected to open in late 2007, but problems have left it empty. It has previously received close to $900 million in public subsidies and tax breaks.
Triple Five will reportedly build a water park at the location and change the name of the building to American Dream at the Meadowlands in hopes of boosting its new image.
“What may have been the ugliest building in New Jersey is going to become the American dream. It’s going to have great new elements and we are going to be changing the exterior as well. We know that’s something the residents really want and, quite honestly, we agree with them,” Jasper said.
Jasper said the company feels “really good about being a part of New Jersey” and excited about the change.
“We’ve been welcomed with open arms and we’re excited to be good corporate citizens and give back to the community,” he said.
SOUND-OFF: So what do you think about the changes coming to Xanadu? Share your thoughts in the comments section…