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December 5th, 2003, 02:16 AM
Xanadu complex gets the go-ahead

Thursday, December 04, 2003

By Matthew Futterman
Newhouse News Service

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority yesterday overwhelmingly approved a plan to build a $1.3 billion entertainment and retail center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The move clears the way for the transformation of one of the state's most recognized landmarks.

The agreement with Virginia-based Mills Corp. and its partner, Mack-Cali Realty of Cranford, will bring North America its first indoor ski mountain, northern New Jersey another regional mall, and Bergen County a minor league ball park.

Critics say the 4 million square-foot development will ultimately choke traffic in an already clogged region, will produce a $200 million windfall for the sports authority and create a new identity for the 27-year-old sports complex.

"This is a landmark day for the sports authority," said Carl Goldberg, the agency's chairman, after the 11-2 vote. "We think it really defines an entirely new land use concept."

The development at the 104-acre Continental Airlines Arena site would become one of the signature achievements of Gov. James E. McGreevey's first-term, which has been dominated by ethics scandals and battles over the budget.

"It's one of the most important pieces of property and to not keep up with the times and use it would not have been right," said Joseph Buckelew, a leading Republican and a sports authority commissioner. "I never thought we would get to this point."

Developers plan to break ground in the spring. Just two obstacles now stand in the way of a project that many predicted would never be built.

The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission must approve the project after an environmental hearing that will like take place early next year.

Also, the sports authority must prevail in a lawsuit filed by rival developer Hartz Mountain Industries alleging the agency violated its charter and the state's open public meetings law when it awarded Mills/Mack-Cali the right to build on its property. However, the momentum Xanadu has generated now appears nearly insurmountable, and Hartz President Emanuel Stern declined comment yesterday.

The future of the Continental Airlines Arena itself won't be known until investors in the Nets and Devils decide whether to sell the teams. If they do, and the new owners want to stay, the arena will likely be renovated and connected to Xanadu. If the teams move, the arena may be demolished.

Regardless, critics of Xanadu, led by the dissenting commissioners, former chairman Raymond Bateman and financial consultant Candace Straight, said pursuing a project the size of Xanadu was a major mistake.

Bateman said Xanadu will create a "traffic nightmare" every day in an area where bumper-to-bumper traffic jams the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 3 every rush hour.

Competition from Xanadu will certainly be substantial. The project includes: 600,000 square feet of retail space; 1.7 million square feet of for entertainment, such as movie theaters, restaurants, an extreme sports park and a surfing pool with man-made waves. The plans also call for the construction of four office towers, a 500-room hotel and conference center; and 12,500 parking spaces in garages.

Kris
April 28th, 2004, 05:17 AM
April 28, 2004

Meadowlands Bid Process Is Challenged in State Court

By RONALD SMOTHERS

HACKENSACK, N.J., April 27 - Groups challenging a $1.3 billion redevelopment of the Continental Arena site charged in a state appellate court on Tuesday that state officials improperly ignored their own bid specifications by picking the only proposal that left the arena intact.

The appellate panel is being asked by Hartz Mountain Industries and Westfield Group - two of the unsuccessful bidders - a taxpayer group and at least one Bergen County municipality to invalidate the bidding as unfair and in violation of state law.

Five of the six groups that bid to redevelop the 106-acre Meadowlands site submitted plans that called for demolishing or radically altering the Continental Arena based on specifications from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The specifications required that any reuse of the building had to respect the "anticipated noncompete agreement'' with a planned Newark arena.

The entire approach, said Justin P. Walder, one of the lawyers for Hartz Mountain, was predicated on the demolition of the Continental Arena.

However, the successful bidder, Meadowlands Xanadu, a sports and family entertainment project of the Mills Corporation and Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, was the only one that left the arena untouched in its proposal.

"There was unequal footing," Mr. Walder said.

Michael Cole, the lawyer for the Meadowlands Xanadu partnership, said that just before the bid specifications were issued in 2002, the authority sent an addendum that indicated that the Newark arena's fate was no longer a crucial element.

After 90 minutes of oral arguments Tuesday, the judges reserved decision.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
May 15th, 2004, 05:36 AM
May 15, 2004

Suit Over Meadowlands Bids Yields Mixed Ruling

By RONALD SMOTHERS

NEWARK, MAY 14 - A state appellate panel ruled on Friday that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority was within its rights in awarding a $1.4 billion contract to develop a huge entertainment complex at the Continental Arena site at the Meadowlands.

But the court also said that the authority may have improperly withheld documents from unsuccessful bidders who are challenging the bidding process.

The panel said that a Superior Court judge must review the documents and, if new information is found, losing bidders should get another chance to challenge the process. The contract to develop the project at the 104-acre site was awarded to the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, in partnership with the Mills Corporation. Their proposal, unlike the other bids, left the Continental Arena untouched.

Other bidders said they believed that the arena's demolition was required to meet bid specifications, and sued on those and other grounds.

The panel said that the authority had properly left details of the development to the imagination of the bidders, including whether to incorporate the arena into their plans.

The plan's retail component was also in line with the bid specifications, the court ruled. One challenger, a mall operator, said the project was essentially a mall and not a family entertainment venue.

The losing bidders had asked for a variety of documents related to the process from the authority, but the panel did not spell out exactly what documents had been withheld.

Both sides in the dispute claimed a measure of victory in the ruling.

Mitchell Hersh, president and chief executive officer of Mack-Cali, said the ruling validated "the integrity of the process."

James F. Dausch, president of the development division of the Mills Corporation, said the ruling means work can begin this summer.

But a spokesman for Hartz Mountain Industries, one of the plaintiffs, said the ruling provided a second chance to losing bidders. It allows the company to "establish that the selection and process was flawed," said Ron Simoncini, the spokesman.

Within 15 days of the Superior Court judge's review of the documents sought by the losing bidders, the panel ruled, the authority must hold a hearing on their challenge to the bidding process.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
November 19th, 2004, 07:27 AM
November 19, 2004

Codey's Plans Leave Project in Meadows in Doubt

By LAURA MANSNERUS and JOSH BENSON

TRENTON, Nov. 18 - Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey's plan to revitalize the sports complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands has raised questions about the future of the huge shopping and entertainment development that former Gov. James E. McGreevey's administration approved for the site.

The $1.3 billion development project, called Meadowlands Xanadu, has been under attack by environmentalists and local opponents who contend that it will be little more than a big shopping mall. The main developer, which has promoted similar projects around the nation as "shoppertainment," won approval for the project from the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority earlier this fall.

The project has significant support from important political figures, including United States Representative Robert Menendez and former State Senator John Lynch. At the groundbreaking Oct. 5, Mr. McGreevey spoke effusively about the entertainment and shopping "destination" that he said would bring crowds back to the site of the sagging sports complex.

But while Mr. McGreevey wanted the state to get out of the sports business, Mr. Codey wants to resuscitate it, using state money if necessary. Mr. Codey, who became acting governor on Tuesday, has asked the chairman of the sports authority, Carl Goldberg, to review the plan for the sports complex site. Mr. Codey "wants to be thoroughly debriefed within the next couple weeks," Mr. Goldberg said.

As for the Xanadu development team, the Mills Corporation and the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Mr. Goldberg said: "There are significant agreements in place, but that doesn't mean the land plan can't be refined going forward. If we have to go back to Mills and Mack-Cali and request some modifications to their land plan in order to accommodate what Governor Codey wants over the years, we will."

The sports complex includes Giants Stadium, where the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the MetroStars soccer team play, the Meadowlands Racetrack and the Continental Airlines Arena, shared by the New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils. Of the five sports teams, four have proposed new homes: the Jets in a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, the Nets in Brooklyn, the Devils in an arena in Newark and the MetroStars in Harrison, N.J.

What the sports-friendly Mr. Codey wants is a new stadium for the Giants, a separate arena for the MetroStars and video slot machines at the racetrack. He also wants to keep the Jets and the Nets. But some sports industry experts and environmental advocates say that the 400-acre site cannot accommodate all that and Xanadu, with 5 million square feet of retail, entertainment and office space.

The state chapter of the Sierra Club has sued the sports authority over Xanadu, arguing that the state failed to conduct the required environmental impact studies. Jeff Tittel, the club president, said the project would bring 100,000 to 125,000 additional cars a day. If the sports complex is expanded as well, he said, "it's going to burst at the seams."

Michael Rowe, a sports industry consultant who is advising Mr. Codey on the sports complex, said, "I think everything is in play."

"To say we want to de-emphasize sports and look at making it a retail-entertainment-office-housing-sports complex, I believe he has earned the right to double-check whether that's the solution to what the Meadowlands needs to be in the 2000's," Mr. Rowe said.

Still, the site preparation for Xanadu is under way and the developers need just one more approval, from the Army Corps of Engineers.

"We've got our state permits and a contract with the state, and are looking forward to building this project," said Robert Sommer, a spokesman for Mills and Mack-Cali. "The new governor has lot of exciting proposals that would potentially enhance Meadowlands Xanadu."

George Zoffinger, the sports authority president, also says the projects are compatible. "We feel pretty strongly that the Xanadu project works well with the site," Mr. Zoffinger said. "It's going to take planning. It's going to take creativity. But I'm very pleased that the governor realized we have real opportunities here."

Officials of at least some of the teams now at the Meadowlands are not so sure. The Giants, Jets and Devils all sent letters in recent weeks to the sports authority expressing concerns over how Xanadu would affect parking and traffic for their fans. The parking is a special concern to the football teams because garage parking is slower to empty out than surface parking, and makes tailgating all but impossible.

The Giants have been negotiating with the sports authority for several years, reaching an agreement last year for a $375 million renovation of the 28-year-old stadium when what the team really wanted was a new stadium. While Mr. Zoffinger has a history of friction with the team management, Mr. Codey's statement last week that he favored a new stadium clearly encouraged the Giants.

"I think that Richard Codey has expressed to us that he wants to make a deal with us, and we're very optimistic that we will be able to accomplish that," said John Mara, the Giants' executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Mr. Mara said his team was conducting its own review of Xanadu's effects. "We're working with them to make sure it's possible to coexist," he said. "I'm not sure that it is, but we're keeping an open mind."

Lou Lamoriello, the Devils' chief executive and general manager, said, "It's about how our fans will be affected when they come to the game, whether it has to do with parking, or egress or entrance."

Mr. Lamoriello continued, "From what I can tell, none of the teams have been satisfied to the point where they're comfortable."

Mr. Codey, while declining to discuss the Xanadu project, said in an interview that he was committed to improving relations with the teams. If the Jets, Nets and Devils leave, Mr. Codey said, "that leaves what is now an old football stadium but a good one, and a racetrack that like all other racetracks every year loses attendance."

He said he wanted to keep the complex's position as the premier sports center in the New York region. "It should still be a mecca for sports," not a center in decline, he said. Mr. Codey also voiced doubts about New York's succeeding in luring the Nets and Jets, despite Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's fervent campaigning. "There's only so much Bloomberg can spend on sports teams," he said.

The courting of sports teams is also an issue with New Jersey voters, however. Polls have shown that most supported Mr. McGreevey's refusal to spend any state money on the teams, and efforts to build an arena in Newark, which is to be financed by the Devils and the city, have barely moved in three years.

But Mr. Rowe said polls also showed that New Jersey residents are enthusiastic about the sports complex. "When New Jerseyans were polled in the 1980's about what they were most proud of in New Jersey, they listed the Meadowlands as the top thing," he said. "They were proud for the Meadowlands to be hosting in excess of seven or eight million people a year, and to have five professional sports teams."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
November 20th, 2004, 07:37 AM
November 20, 2004

Project in Meadowlands Wins Backing of the Acting Governor

By LAURA MANSNERUS

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey expressed his support yesterday for the Meadowlands Xanadu project, saying the plans for the large shopping and entertainment complex were consistent with his vision for the neighboring Meadowlands Sports Complex.

Mr. Codey has asked the chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority to review the plan for the sports complex, where he wants a new stadium for the New York Giants and a new soccer arena. Mr. Codey also supports video slot machines at the racetrack to reverse years of declining attendance.

Xanadu, a $1.3 billion development, with 5 million square feet of retail, entertainment and office space, broke ground on Oct. 5.

Yesterday, after The New York Times reported that Mr. Codey had asked Carl J. Goldberg, chairman of the sports authority, to conduct a review of the overall plan and report to him within a few weeks, the acting governor issued a statement through the sports authority, saying he supported the Xanadu project.

"He looks forward to working with the developers of the Xanadu project to assure that his goals, that of the Meadowlands developers, the franchise tenants and the people of the State of New Jersey are met,'' the statement said.

Mr. Codey had expressed interest in looking anew at the Meadowlands site before, telling The Star-Ledger of Newark earlier this month: "If we don't do anything, what does the place become? Is it just a dying football stadium, a racetrack and a place for shopping? I don't think that's right."

Yesterday, he attended the sports authority's meeting and asked the board to try to keep the Jets and the Nets at the Meadowlands, Mr. Goldberg told The Associated Press. The teams are planning moves to New York.

"What he has said is let's take a step back and look at what we're doing here and make sure we can do it all," Mr. Goldberg said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Kris
May 26th, 2006, 05:37 PM
May 25, 2006
Delays and Higher Costs Expected for Xanadu
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI and LAURA MANSNERUS

TRENTON, May 24 — The developer building the sprawling Xanadu shopping and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands has acknowledged that the project will take longer, cost more and earn less money than originally projected, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That disclosure — which comes as the developer, the Mills Corporation, is being pressured by lenders who want to force a sale of the company or its most important assets — rekindled fears on Wednesday that New Jersey may be spending hundreds of millions in tax dollars to provide infrastructure improvements for what could turn out to be little more than a shopping mall.

But Mills executives and state officials say that there are no plans to curtail construction of the elaborate assortment of entertainment and extreme sports facilities intended to make the complex as much of a tourist destination as a shopping center.

Mills, based in Arlington, Va., won the right to develop the coveted 104-acre site in East Rutherford by proposing an ambitious complex: retail stores surrounded by a hotel, office space and an assortment of indoor recreational facilities like a trout stream, a surfing wave and a ski slope.

Construction began in 2004, but in recent months Mills has faced an assortment of financial and legal problems, including shareholder lawsuits, an investigation by the S.E.C. and demands from creditors that the company be sold. As the price of the stock dropped — in eight months, Mills fell to below $27 a share from higher than $66 a share, closing on Wednesday at $30.70 — the company fired top executives, slashed its work force and abandoned 10 other projects.

In its filing with the S.E.C., the company said that Xanadu's opening would be delayed six months to a year beyond the recently announced date of the fall of 2007, and its cost would be higher than anticipated.

David Douglass, a spokesman for the company, said Mills remained committed to building the snow dome and other entertainment parts of the project, though the company had previously said that plans for a mile-long roller coaster and go-cart track had been abandoned.

Carl J. Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority, said he had been assured that Mills has no intention of trying to renege on its commitment to build the more distinctive but less profitable recreational parts of Xanadu.

"There's been no conversation whatsoever that they have any intent to in any way materially change the scope of the project from the approved plan," Mr. Goldberg said.

Mills officials declined to provide an estimate of the expected cost overruns for Xanadu, which was originally projected at $1.2 billion. But Rich Moore, a financial analyst for RBC Capital, said that despite its recent problems, he upgraded his assessment of Mills because the company's record had convinced him that Xanadu would be built as planned.

The Xanadu project dates to the administration of Gov. James E. McGreevey. As part of the deal with Mills, the state promised utilities and road improvements, a new rail spur to the sports complex, tax exemptions, economic development grants and more, at a cost that could reach $1 billion.

Robert Sommer, a spokesman for the Xanadu project, said that Mills had already invested hundreds of millions of dollars, including $160 million in rent paid to the state, and intends to see it completed as planned.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

TeddyJ
May 26th, 2006, 07:22 PM
Maybe the Nets will be coming to Newark after all:) With all the problems Ratner is having in BK and the now Xanadu it seems like a good shot now.

pianoman11686
July 14th, 2006, 04:19 PM
GlobeSt.com (http://www.globest.com/news/631_631/newjersey/147347-1.html)

UPDATE Last updated: July 14, 2006 01:28pm

Mills Seeking Xanadu ‘White Knight’

By Eric Peterson

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-The chosen developer for has signed just three retail tenants for its massive Xanadu retail/entertainment project and uncertainty abounds, so officials of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, the state agency that owns the site in the Meadowlands, this week called in officials of the Arlington, VA-based Mills Corp. to explain.
According to published reports, NJSEA chairman Carl Goldberg and CEO George Zoffinger sat down this week with chairman Laurence Siegel and COO Mark Ordan of the troubled Mills for a meeting that lasted several hours.

According to reports, what came out of that meeting was Mills’ stated intention to find a buyer for a major portion of its stake in the project, with the aim being a cash infusion to get the $1.5 billion project completed. A Mills spokesman confirmed the details of the meeting but declined further comment. Officials of the NJSEA could not be reached for comment.

For Mills, which already has the Cranford, NJ-based Mack-Cali Realty Corp. as a partner in Xanadu, with financial backing from the German fund KanAm, the obvious problem is cash flow. The loan route has dried up, according to sources, because Mills signed just the three retail leases for the massive project, and therefore has very little to work with as collateral. In the meeting, according to reports, Siegel and Ordan told NJSEA officials that they’re close to signing some 800,000 sf of retail leases—the project will total some two million sf. To date has signed deals only the Cabela’s sporting goods chain, Children’s Place and Muvico, the latter for a multiplex cinema. Mills has also yet to line up operators for the project’s recreational features, including a proposed indoor ski mountain.

The alternative, Siegel and Ordan told NJSEA officials this week, will be for Mills to find a buyer for a major portion of its stake in the project that’s said to be costing the company upwards of $10 million a week at this early-construction stage.

Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.

ablarc
July 16th, 2006, 08:51 AM
The developer building the sprawling Xanadu shopping and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands has acknowledged that the project will take longer, cost more and earn less money than originally projected...

That disclosure...rekindled fears on Wednesday that New Jersey may be spending hundreds of millions in tax dollars to provide infrastructure improvements for what could turn out to be little more than a shopping mall.

But Mills executives and state officials say that there are no plans to curtail construction of the elaborate assortment of entertainment and extreme sports facilities intended to make the complex as much of a tourist destination as a shopping center.

Mills...won the right to develop the coveted 104-acre site in East Rutherford by proposing an ambitious complex: retail stores surrounded by a hotel, office space and an assortment of indoor recreational facilities like a trout stream, a surfing wave and a ski slope.
Ambitious complex?? More like a collection of stupid ideas.

How could anyone have gone for this tepid pile of crap to begin with? And with public funds?

Some people are just dumb.

Ninjahedge
July 17th, 2006, 09:12 AM
KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!!

A trout stream is dumb and kitchy. A ski slope is equally unfeasable. Things liek a driving range, bowling alley and other recreational facilities might be more useful (something liek Chelsea Piers) than a bunch of space-stealing eye catchers that will be a beast to maintain.

Hell, a small lake in the main foyer would look nicer and be more pleasing than having a fake trout stream running by your Paragon Sporting Goods store.

pianoman11686
August 13th, 2006, 12:36 AM
GlobeSt.com (http://www.globest.com/news/671_671/newjersey/148138-1.html)

Last updated: August 11, 2006 11:17am

Meadowlands Xanadu Costs Rise

By Ian Ritter

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Troubled retail-REIT Mills Corp. has filed a document with the SEC stating that its Meadowlands Xanadu project here will cost $2 billion to construct, $500 million more than it had previously reported. The company, which has been exploring a sale after heavy losses and accounting flaws, had announced last month that it was looking for a joint-venture partner on the two-million-sf retail-entertainment project.

Mills has not obtained construction financing for Meadowlands Xanadu, and management says the funds are not likely to come in unless it is able to execute “significant remaining leasing activity,” according to the filing. Last month Mills management told the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, the agency that owns the site, that it were close to signing 800,000 sf of leases for the project.

If financing for the project is not obtained, Mills is required to provide the financing itself, which could lead to a write down on the development. So far, Mills has spent $380 million on Meadowlands Xanadu.

“In our view, Mills should cease construction at the Meadowlands and write off the equity,” says a Bank Of America analyst report, which assumes that the firm will take a write off on the full $380 million they have spent so far. The best-case scenario would be for Mills to find a buyer for the development, the report says, but given rising construction costs in the industry, “Mills would need to give away its investment for the project to make sense economically to a potential buyer.”

If that situation doesn’t work, Bank of America says that Mills would have to seek recapitalization in order to pay a $2.2-billion long-term loan it previously received from Goldman Sachs that is due by the end of the year. That could lead to an investor eventually coming in and taking control of the entire firm, the report says.

In June, Mills, the owner of 42 centers in North America and Europe, announced that it had received “interest from a variety of parties” in acquiring the company. Most recently management said that it has started work on the construction of the 265,000-sf retail portion of 108 North State St., a mixed-use development in Chicago.

Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.

Ninjahedge
August 13th, 2006, 03:47 PM
Looks like they missed the window.

Maybe they should build condos... ;)

TimmyG
August 22nd, 2006, 11:11 AM
From NJ.com

Colony Capital to take over Xanadu project
The troubled Mills Corp. announced this morning that Colony Capital has invested $500 million in Xanadu, the massive retails and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands, according to three people involved with the discussions.
In an announcement released this morning just after the start of trading, Mills portrayed the investment by Colony as nothing short of a takeover of the Xanadu project.

According to the letter of intent signed by Mills, Colony, and the German investment fund KanAm, Colony will take over all the obligations to complete Xanadu, the $2 billion project at the sports complex that is expected to include North america's first indoor ski mountain, a minor league ballpark and dozens of high-end shops and restaurants.

"Our transaction with Kan Am and Colony would allow The Mills to achieve its goals of reducing the Company's financial obligations and facilitating our exploration of strategic alternatives," said Larry Siegel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Mills. "Colony is an experienced and well respected real estate investor and its participation attests to the potential long-term economic benefits of the Meadowlands Xanadu development. This transaction, when completed, will enable the realization of Meadowlands Xanadu for the people of New Jersey and the metropolitan area."

The investment by Colony is a major victory for Mills, whose stock price has plummetted in recent days as investors lost confidence in a company that had to reduce its earnings by some $200 million and warned Wall street analysts that its overall value would drop by some $300 million.

Mills executives have worked virtually non-stop the past week to iron out the agreement with Colony, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm led by Tom Barrick.

Colony President Richard Saltzman said Colony is committed to "the completion and success of this landmark entertainment and retail development project."

Mills will be a minority investor in Xanadu, having invested $485 million. Colony will provide $500 million and secure additional construction financing. Kan Am will spend $342 million. Mack-Cali Realty Corporation has invested an additional $32.5 million in the Project through a separate partnership. Mills said it is unlikely the company will recoup any of its investment in Xanadu for years. Mills said it expects to write off its full investment in Xanadu during the quarter in which the deal with Colony is finanlized.

Founded in 1991 by Thomas J. Barrack Jr., Colony is a private, international investment firm focusing primarily on real estate-related assets, securities and operating companies. The firm has invested approximately $20 billion in over 8,000 assets through various corporate, portfolio and complex property transactions. Colony has a staff of more than 160 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in Beirut, Boston, Hawaii, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, New York, Paris, Rome, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Contributed Matthew Futterman

pianoman11686
September 21st, 2006, 07:03 PM
GlobeSt.com (http://www.globest.com/news/727_727/newjersey/149219-1.html)

Last updated: September 21, 2006 10:51am

Mills’ Xanadu Financing Date Delayed

By Ian Ritter

(Ian Ritter is national online editor for GlobeSt.com/RETAIL (http://www.globestretail.com/).)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Today’s expected closing date of construction financing for the Mills Corp.’s Meadowlands Xanadu project here is delayed until Sept. 27. Los Angeles-based Colony Capital Acquisitions and Germany’s Kan Am USA Management are providing the funds for the $2-billion retail-entertainment center.

Under the terms of the deal, Colony will invest up to $500 million in equity capital and arrange for construction financing for the rest of the projected $2-billion cost. Kan Am is Mills’ long-term financial joint-venture partner on projects around the country.

Chevy Chase, MD-based Mills’ management also says it expect to close a deal by the end of the month to sell its foreign holdings to Canada-based mall owner Ivanhoe Cambridge during or before the first week of next month. That $981-million deal involves the sale of Vaughan (Ontario) Mills; St. Enoch Centre, in Glasgow, Scotland; and Madrid (Spain) Xanadú.

Mills has been selling assets since the company came under fire last year for accounting irregularities, an SEC investigation, higher-than-projected development costs, and other issues. Since that time, the firm has put itself up for sale and let go about 160 employees.

In June, Mills, the owner of 42 centers in North America and Europe, announced that it had received “interest from a variety of parties” in acquiring the company. Most recently management said that it has started work on the construction of the 265,000-sf retail portion of 108 North State St., a mixed-use development in Chicago.

Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.

investordude
November 6th, 2006, 03:07 PM
Looks like Colony Capital has a larger share of the project now.

http://www.globest.com/news/776_776/newjersey/150416-1.html

JCexpert558
August 9th, 2007, 04:03 PM
When will the project be built?

66nexus
August 9th, 2007, 05:12 PM
When will the project be built?

Go Turnpike N and you'll see that HUGE skeleton up.

JCMAN320
August 9th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Xanadu is moving along swiftly now and I can't wait to check it out onces its finished. They have been starting to put the exterior up finally.

Eugenious
August 9th, 2007, 08:00 PM
http://www.herrmann-vermoegen.de/xanadu1.jpg

Ninjahedge
August 10th, 2007, 09:09 AM
Not saying that wetland is more scenic, but EWWWWWW!!!!

I am looking at the skeliton as it goes up and can only see the gross consumerism that is what looks to be the proposed indoor skiing ramp.

Something about that just sickens me.... :(

millertime83
August 10th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Here's a picture from about 3 weeks ago.

JCMAN320
September 28th, 2007, 05:19 PM
Secaucus firm gets Xanadu systems contract

Friday, September 28, 2007

SECAUCUS - Developers of the Xanadu entertainment complex have awarded a $3.9 million contract for security and building management systems integration to a Secaucus firm.

TAC, which specializes in building automation, security systems and energy services, will install the building systems, which will include access control, video surveillance and indoor climate control.

Meadowlands Xanadu is a 4.8 million-square-foot family entertainment, sports, retail, office and hotel complex in East Rutherford, adjacent to Giants Stadium. The entertainment and retail center is to open late next year.

In a news release, TAC said it will be responsible for incorporating a complex surveillance system protecting the parking areas, entrances, elevators, escalators, employee and back office areas, and the large public spaces inside the venue. TAC will also install an access control system.

JOURNAL STAFF

millertime83
October 25th, 2007, 01:06 PM
FAA objects to Ferris wheel at Xanadu
Friday, October 19, 2007

By NICK CLUNN
STAFF WRITER
A giant Ferris wheel that would provide a view of the Manhattan skyline from the Xanadu entertainment complex would jeopardize air travel around Teterboro Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration has determined.
The ruling leaves Xanadu's developer with two choices -- make the 33-story wheel smaller or prove that the proposed height would not interfere with flights in or out of the airport.
Engineers for developer Colony Capital Acquisitions will work with regulators so the wheel complies with safety standards, even if it means a smaller one, Tim White, a spokesman for the complex, said Thursday. But he said that even with the height of the wheel in question, New Jerseyans should expect to see it spinning when the $2 billion shopping and entertainment complex opens in November 2008.
The FAA told Colony that it would approve a wheel no taller than 190 feet, but would consider one taller than 286 feet to have a "substantial adverse effect" on air safety around Teterboro, which is about three miles away from Xanadu.
"We don't have any legal authority to stop a company from building a structure, but the majority of the time, they take our determinations very seriously," Arlene Salac, an FAA spokeswoman, said.
Regulators also deemed hazardous the prospect of a 289-foot-tall roller coaster on the Xanadu site. Xanadu officials in January 2006 said they had deleted a coaster from their plans, but public documents show that Colony asked the FAA in July to study a plan for one.
Carl Goldberg, chairman of New Jersey Sports Authority and Exposition, which allowed Xanadu's construction, said Thursday he was not aware of any FAA notices.
"There is no doubt that if the FAA has concerns about the height of anything at Xanadu, then that has to be looked at and addressed," Goldberg said.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the nation's largest advocacy group of its kind, opposes any Xanadu structure that fails to meet FAA standards, said Chris Dancy, an association spokesman.
Such structures would likely alter how aircraft approach and depart Teterboro, which might lead to a reduction in the amount of traffic. Less traffic at Teterboro would mean more landings and takeoffs at the metropolitan area's major hubs, which are already stressed, Dancy said.
"There is really not a lot of leeway in reconfiguring departures and arrivals," he said.
When Xanadu developers proposed a 400-foot wheel in 2004, the association told regulators to consider the amusement's impact on national airspace due to Xanadu's proximity to three of the country's busiest airports.
Xanadu's developers have billed the wheel as the largest in North America, and have touted it as one of the attractions that help distinguish the complex from a megamall.
Passengers would board the ride from one of Xanadu's buildings along the New Jersey Turnpike. Once on it, they would ride in one of 27 enclosed gondolas with climate control and enough room to hold about 20 people, giving passengers an outside view without having to step outdoors.
One time around the wheel would take about 25 minutes. The cost of a ticket has not been announced.
The FAA's ruling was cheered by Lane Biviano, who can see the Manhattan skyline from his Rutherford condominium, but might lose the view if the wheel is built at 333 feet.
"They want to pollute the sky with this structural graffiti," he said. "It's another form of air pollution, if you think about it.
Staff Writer John Brennan contributed to this article. E-mail: clunn@northjersey.com

66nexus
October 25th, 2007, 01:31 PM
FAA objects to Ferris wheel at Xanadu
Friday, October 19, 2007

By NICK CLUNN
STAFF WRITER
A giant Ferris wheel that would provide a view of the Manhattan skyline from the Xanadu entertainment complex would jeopardize air travel around Teterboro Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration has determined.
The ruling leaves Xanadu's developer with two choices -- make the 33-story wheel smaller or prove that the proposed height would not interfere with flights in or out of the airport.
Engineers for developer Colony Capital Acquisitions will work with regulators so the wheel complies with safety standards, even if it means a smaller one, Tim White, a spokesman for the complex, said Thursday. But he said that even with the height of the wheel in question, New Jerseyans should expect to see it spinning when the $2 billion shopping and entertainment complex opens in November 2008.
The FAA told Colony that it would approve a wheel no taller than 190 feet, but would consider one taller than 286 feet to have a "substantial adverse effect" on air safety around Teterboro, which is about three miles away from Xanadu.
"We don't have any legal authority to stop a company from building a structure, but the majority of the time, they take our determinations very seriously," Arlene Salac, an FAA spokeswoman, said.
Regulators also deemed hazardous the prospect of a 289-foot-tall roller coaster on the Xanadu site. Xanadu officials in January 2006 said they had deleted a coaster from their plans, but public documents show that Colony asked the FAA in July to study a plan for one.
Carl Goldberg, chairman of New Jersey Sports Authority and Exposition, which allowed Xanadu's construction, said Thursday he was not aware of any FAA notices.
"There is no doubt that if the FAA has concerns about the height of anything at Xanadu, then that has to be looked at and addressed," Goldberg said.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the nation's largest advocacy group of its kind, opposes any Xanadu structure that fails to meet FAA standards, said Chris Dancy, an association spokesman.
Such structures would likely alter how aircraft approach and depart Teterboro, which might lead to a reduction in the amount of traffic. Less traffic at Teterboro would mean more landings and takeoffs at the metropolitan area's major hubs, which are already stressed, Dancy said.
"There is really not a lot of leeway in reconfiguring departures and arrivals," he said.
When Xanadu developers proposed a 400-foot wheel in 2004, the association told regulators to consider the amusement's impact on national airspace due to Xanadu's proximity to three of the country's busiest airports.
Xanadu's developers have billed the wheel as the largest in North America, and have touted it as one of the attractions that help distinguish the complex from a megamall.
Passengers would board the ride from one of Xanadu's buildings along the New Jersey Turnpike. Once on it, they would ride in one of 27 enclosed gondolas with climate control and enough room to hold about 20 people, giving passengers an outside view without having to step outdoors.
One time around the wheel would take about 25 minutes. The cost of a ticket has not been announced.
The FAA's ruling was cheered by Lane Biviano, who can see the Manhattan skyline from his Rutherford condominium, but might lose the view if the wheel is built at 333 feet.
"They want to pollute the sky with this structural graffiti," he said. "It's another form of air pollution, if you think about it.
Staff Writer John Brennan contributed to this article. E-mail: clunn@northjersey.com



Why don't they set it in the ground so it can still be largest but not have to protrude too much into the sky?

investordude
October 25th, 2007, 02:50 PM
Isn't the point of this thing to enable views of Manhattan for out of towners watching a game? I'd think a shorter one is no good.

Seems like a no-brainer that the airport safety is more important than this Ferris Wheel - just put in another attraction that's shorter and less dependent on Manhattan views (maybe a roller coaster or something)

unknown memory
October 25th, 2007, 09:21 PM
Ahhh. Darn it, Teterboro. It's always Teterboro... That airport always plagues of some kind of problem. Whether a plane crash, a lost former president's son, or something else.... >__< I'm hoping for the ferris wheel. I've been dreaming of one for ages that gives you nice Manhattan views and the changing colors of the wheel is fascinating. In Tokyo, that city has two ferris wheels which are so pretty when passing them on the highway (but the narrator speaker is a bit distracting).

I hope they do come to a resolution that'll keep the wheel. I don't care if they make it a bit smaller but still sight-see-able. It would be the closest ferris wheel near me and I was happy for that.

Ninjahedge
October 26th, 2007, 09:12 AM
I do not know how a wheel there would pose that much of a problem.

I think they are pushing it when they are saying that that will somehow impringe on the takeoff/landing safety envelope.

As for a roller coaster? This is a MALL, not an amusement park! It is weird and decadent enough that there will be indoor skiing, but a roller coaster? What's next, a water park? :p

millertime83
October 26th, 2007, 01:30 PM
the roller coaster was dropped from the final design.

As for it being a mall... Actually it's state mandated that it's not a mall. That's it's an "entertainment center."

Ninjahedge
October 26th, 2007, 01:54 PM
It's a mall.

Zoe
October 26th, 2007, 02:16 PM
I think Teterboro is a waste of space. It just clogs up the airways around the city. To me its the same as people who insist on driving their car (with no business reason) into the city instead of taking public transportation like everyone else. Buy a plane ticket and get over yourself. (ok, my rant is done)...

66nexus
October 26th, 2007, 08:25 PM
It's a mall.

It really makes me wonder what the Meadowlands is trying to be. I mean, not how we now see it, but what they envision for it...and then I wonder why they bother (no offense Bergenites):confused:

JCMAN320
November 8th, 2007, 02:32 AM
Trump takes over golf, housing plan for Meadowlands

Thursday, November 08, 2007
By JUDY DeHAVEN
NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

Real estate developer and casino boss Donald Trump said yesterday he has inked a deal to rescue the troubled EnCap development project in the Meadowlands.

Trump will now hire a master developer, but he said he already envisions a world-class golf course designed by golf course architect Tom Fazio - akin to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster - as well as residential housing, open space and perhaps a hotel.

"I look forward to working on the development," Trump said yesterday, hours after signing the agreement. "When completed, it will be one of the finest of its kind anywhere in the world."

The deal is a major step forward for a project long stalled amid financial difficulties. Developers had hoped to replace dumps in the Meadowlands with two golf courses and luxury housing. But it quickly became mired in debt. The New Jersey Meadowlands Commission declared Encap in default in May.

The project's 785-acre footprint includes portions of Kearny, Rutherford, Lyndhurst and North Arlington - and called for two golf course and 2,000 residences. One of the golf courses in the plan would have been in Kearny.

But Trump said he will scrap those plans and start fresh.

"I'd rather do one great championship course than two mediocre or lesser ones," he said.

Within the next 120 days, Trump said, he will get a recommendation from three master planners now evaluating the property. He said he is looking at anywhere "from a $5-10 billion project, depending on what we come up with."

unknown memory
November 8th, 2007, 03:22 AM
^ Trump....Geeze. >_> Didn't actually realize there was going to be a golf course center at Meadowlands. (But why did it have to be Trump although, not really surprise.)


It really makes me wonder what the Meadowlands is trying to be. I mean, not how we now see it, but what they envision for it...and then I wonder why they bother (no offense Bergenites):confused:
None taken. ^_^ Haha.

Their vision for Xanadu is to make it a tourist destination. The first indoor ski slope in the U.S. Largest movie theater in the country. Live cooking demonstration show. An indoor car racing track. A bowling alley... But yeah, part of it is still a mall. They believe that by having a ferris wheel next to the building, it will not be defined as a "mall". I don't quite get that as having ferris wheels next to a shopping center is very common in Asia.
Example: These Chinese tourists are in Japan which is the ferris wheel capital of the world. So pretty... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy2AH8q6TJw

And I'm still hoping for the Xanadu ferris wheel. Although, I'm not quite use to thinking of how it is going to be modeled after the British wheel. Can't really imagine more than 15 people per cart as oppose to the four-five person seater cart that I'm use to.

JCMAN320
February 15th, 2008, 01:48 AM
Xanadu no pleasure to behold, Codey complains of complex
Sports authority defends design Senate leader calls 'yucky-looking'

Thursday, February 14, 2008
BY MAURA McDERMOTT
Star-Ledger Staff

Architect David Rockwell promised the $2 billion Xanadu complex's colored exterior, indoor ski slope and Ferris wheel would "create its own skyline."

Well, it has. And state Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) doesn't like it one bit. The former governor criticized Xanadu yesterday, saying the "yucky-looking" complex rising along the New Jersey Turnpike has drawn complaints from passers-by.

"People say to me, 'Hey, Gov, I drove by the Meadowlands -- what the hell is that thing?'" Codey said. "You say to yourself, is this the sports authority or is it Coney Island or the old Asbury Park, or is this some mall?"

Xanadu is set to open at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in November, with a ski slope, skydiving wind tunnels and nearly 50 football fields' worth of storefronts. Its exterior boasts blue-and-white rectangular boxes as well as pink-and-orange stripes.

"It's a work in progress by a distinguished and acclaimed architect," said Lloyd Kaplan, a spokesman for the development. "We think most people will find the finished development attractive, delightful and a positive contribution to the Meadowlands and the metropolitan region."

Rockwell designed the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood as well as two W Hotels in New York City.

Codey also yesterday criticized Xanadu for not signing up tenants faster. The complex has signed leases for about one-third of its space, according to a report last month by lead developer Colony Capital. The developer said "serious negotiations" are under way for 95 percent of the complex.

One of the original developers, the Mills Corp., sold its stake to Colony in 2006 after sustaining heavy financial losses on it.

"Pretty soon we would have to start calling this thing 'the mistake at the Meadowlands,'" Codey said.

George Zoffinger, who was the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority's chief executive when Xanadu was approved, said the project will benefit the state.

"Once again, Dick Codey misses the point," Zoffinger said. "There are 20,000 jobs being created by this facility for people who need the work."

Zoffinger added, in a shot at his longtime adversary, "People driving down the Turnpike will be a lot more concerned about the tolls they're paying than what Xanadu looks like."

Codey has suggested discounts on Gov. Jon Corzine's proposed toll hikes.

Zoffinger's successor, Dennis Robinson, also spoke up for Xanadu.

"I think it's premature to judge it when we haven't even opened the doors," Robinson said. "We think it's going to be a tremendous addition to the sports complex."

Staff writer Maura McDermott may be reached at (973) 392-7964 or

mmcdermott@starledger.com.

MidtownGuy
February 15th, 2008, 03:26 AM
Its exterior boasts blue-and-white rectangular boxes as well as pink-and-orange stripes.

Yikes.:eek: That does sound yucky.


Zoffinger added, in a shot at his longtime adversary, "People driving down the Turnpike will be a lot more concerned about the tolls they're paying than what Xanadu looks like."

They can and should be worried about both.

This thing could have been a tremendous addition to the sports complex AND looked great. Now it's just one more gigantic hunk of ugly plopped on New Jersey alongside the turnpike. In a long history of ugly. The landscape of the "garden" state along the turnpike looks like it has suffered a catastrophe. It must have been a pretty state at one time(especially the unmolested wetlands); I'm sure it still is in places, but all along the turnpike it's a post-industrial poop hole. They just made it worse.

arcman210
February 15th, 2008, 09:07 AM
a link to the main rendering... the final product that is built so far looks pretty accurate compared to this:

http://www.meadowlandsxanadu.com/stellent01/groups/public/documents/mx_webassets/056910.jpg

dont know why they thought it would look good.

Ninjahedge
February 15th, 2008, 09:23 AM
Looks like a giant bowling alley.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/images/icons/icon13.gif

The whole idea of an indoor SKI SLOPE was a tremendous waste of $$ in my opinion. If you want a crappy little crowded slope, there are plenty of ski resorts around NYC that give you just that. Mountain Creek being one of them!

Why do we need this? Who thought that that would bring in more revenue and make more people happy?

NYatKNIGHT
February 15th, 2008, 10:04 AM
There's going to be a Cabela's? I love that store.

I guess I'm ambivalent about this Xanadu, at least for now. I don't think it helps or hurts anything much. I'm sort of glad all that concrete and pavement that usually sits dorment will actually be usefull year round. There will be a train stop there, which reduces some traffic. It may not be my cup of tea, but it's hard to believe that drivers on the turnpike are so offended by the gaudy, clashing colors when otherwise mile after mile they are bombarded with environmental raping. Really, this is so offensive? Why not complain about the tires and fallen powerlines that haven't been dredged from the wetlands for decades. People once drove by a vast parking lot and now it will be an entertainment spectacle. Whatever. I don't care if people want to actually pay to ski a 200' ski slope, nor do I care if people shop in a giant suburban mall. Neither affects me. Time will tell how successful it is.

Ninjahedge
February 15th, 2008, 11:32 AM
Have you been on the TP/Parkway recently NYK?

It is interesting to see the wetlands "reclaiming" a lot of the stuff that was once there. I see old power towers and the like slowly rusting away and being claimed by the reeds. You can even kayack around them if you want, although I would still wash afterwards!!! (some garbage clumps still remain).


The worst parts are still the shipping depos and stuff. Semi trailers stacked 6-10 high out in teh middle of a flat wetland are not a good statement no matter what you are looking at.

But, still, you would think that maybe they would try for something a bit more modern and reserved OR a bit more rustic? I think the mall would look MUCH better as a faux-frontier type setup. Ski-lodgey would probably suit it for its environment, if not for its neighbors. But this 1950's layout and 1960's paint job make it look like something that is trying to be something it really can't be.

What that is, I am just not sure, but it does not make me think "entertainment" or even "mall". It makes me think "warehouse" or "cheap midwestern toursit attraction".

Too late now to say anything about it, but it is still disappointing.

As for "people on the turnpike" and all this crap about tolls, what about the thousands of us that travel along route 3 into the city? (I have family in the Burbs!). You think everyone that is voicing concerns are riding the pike?

And that classic line "People driving down the Turnpike will be a lot more concerned about the tolls they're paying than what Xanadu looks like." is just that. A line. Like MTG said, I think most people can be concerned about more than one thing at a time... :P

Oh, don't you love this?:

"It's a work in progress by a distinguished and acclaimed architect,"

Geez. We all know that a 5 star chef can never serve shoot on a shingle, how could a "distinguished and acclaimed" architect, who is so distinguished that he seems to have forgotten their name, produce anything but an ABBA paradise in the NJ wetlands of the NJTP? :p

giselehaslice
February 15th, 2008, 12:04 PM
right now, probably not so good..but let's wait for the whole project to be finished. (the office towers, the hotel towers), Even though the design is somewhat Coney Island-ish, I sure think it is better than a muddy dead marshland area that was surrounded all sides by an abysmal parking lot.

just my 2 cents.

Ninjahedge
February 15th, 2008, 02:01 PM
SO long as tehre is no dumping in the marsh, it is not that bad. It was when there was raw sewerage and industrial waste in there that it was at its worst.


The parking lot? Yeah. That's NJ for you! (Hell, that is most of the US for you!!)

arcman210
February 15th, 2008, 02:33 PM
it will be interesting to see how the new meadowlands stadium fits in with the look of xanadu in a few years.

66nexus
February 15th, 2008, 04:29 PM
I can't understand why such a dreary/marshy place is so revered by this state. I know it's close to NY but aren't there other, more desirable places that are just as close to NY if not closer?

JCMAN320
February 15th, 2008, 06:41 PM
Sameway Florida revers Everglades and New Jersey revers the Pine Barrens for their natural wonder, the Meadowlands are revered because it is a large swath of wetlands outside major cities and the industrial heritage of it is almost boggling and its just amazing that it is still capable of turning around. The Meadowlands has been abused since colonial times and they are trying to salvage it and turn it around.

Most major costal cities were built on landfill that filled in former wetlands such as major parts of Boston, parts of NYC, parts JC, D.C., parts of Baltimore, etc.. They were filled in because wetlands around the turn of the 20th century was looked as natural blight and wasn't appreciated and wasn't understood as natural flood prevention.

The New Jersey Meadowlands was attempted to be filled in over and over over the last century. The Meadowlands use to be a vast white ceder forrest/wetland that was cut down and used for building of homes, churches, etc.. during the colonial period in NY and NJ. Stump of those trees can still be seen in some areas at low tide. Then there huge attempts to drain it and build on it, but those were unsucessful because of the strong river currents. There use to be bid in newspapers in the late 19th and early 20th century to buy acerage to drain and build on it. Like it said it was looked as natural blight for many reasons but one of the many was that mosquitos nested there and they carried maliria.

The Meadowlands is just a record history of what the civilization of the NY/NJ area has done over the last couple hundred years to the wetlands. At one point an idea was floated that was the first idea before the Sport Complex, was to build a giant city over the entire Meadowlands for NJ to have a brand new city that would rival NYC. That never happened obviously, but the next proposal was sports and entertainment on a much much smaller parcel of land.

Now people are realizing how important the Meadowlands are and are working to reverse hundreds of years of abuse and neglect. Flopdgates are being repaired, landfills are being capped and turned into golf courses, large sections have been rehabbed and declared perserves and open space and parks; more are still to come, and there is even and enviormental center and kyaking tours rpmoting eco tourism. The Meadowlands are coming back with the most wildlife seen there in many decades.

On the Xanadu, I will wait to judge it for myself when its finished. I've been to 8 NJ Nets games this year and have seen my air share of it u/c. I think this will add to more of a 24/7 atmosphere there. There will be an indoor ski slope, ferris wheel, f1 sponsored cart track, an entertainment area with clubs, bars, etc., fashion district with fashion shows, etc.....Couple all that with a on site hotel, two Class A office buildings, a new minor league ballpark for the Bergen Cliffhawks, and the Izod Center which will be configured somehow most likely just strictly as a performance venue once my Nets depart for whereever the hell they are going. Couple all that with the train staion, new Meadowlands Stadium and Racetrack and new development on Paterson Plank Road, it really should do very and make the Sports Complex into a Sports and truly Entertainment Complex.

Here are renderings of what the Xanadu and Meadowlands Stadium will look compared to each other:
http://www.nynjfootball.com/images/pool/TRANSITPLAZA.jpg

http://meadowlandsxanadu.com/stellent01/groups/public/documents/mx_webassets/056910.jpg

http://meadowlandsxanadu.com/stellent01/groups/public/@mallmeadow/documents/webassets/056893.jpg

ASchwarz
February 15th, 2008, 07:21 PM
LOL, this has nothing to do with the Meadowlands being "revered". Nobody would compare the Meadowlands to the Everglades. It isn't even NIMBYism; it's just politicans doing their thing.

Dick Codey (the politician criticizing the development) was a big supporter of the alternative development plan (which was, BTW, even bigger), so he's mad that his megadevelopment wasn't selected.

He's been complaining about the project since day one.

unknown memory
February 15th, 2008, 07:35 PM
I'm still looking forward to seeing how this will come out. ^_^ I don't care about the color design and I don't care about Codey's view on the project. I also don't actually see how the wheel can distract several residents of their view of Manhattan. It doesn't actually look to be blocking too much in any of the conceptual art that I've seen. *sighs*

Well, here's the article from NYPost.



BIG WHEEL RIDES HIGH IN JERSEY

By TODD VENEZIA

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02132008/photos/news023.jpg


February 13, 2008 -- There's some wheely big news across the Hudson - the largest Ferris wheel in the nation is about to be built in New Jersey.

The massive ride will rise 286 feet into the sky, easily topping Dallas' Texas Start Ferris wheel, which stands tall at 213 feet. It will be part of Meadowlands Xanadu, a $2 billion entertainment center being built near Giants Stadium in East Rutherford.

The wheel will rise alongside a shopping and entertainment megacomplex that will house such attractions as a 780-foot indoor ski slope and a manmade lake stocked with fish for anglers.

The 2-million-square-foot center is slated for completion in November, which might be all well and good - except for the Ferris wheel, critics say.
Attorney Lane Biviano, a resident of Rutherford, is leading a fight against the giant ride, complaining that it will block the view of Manhattan by residents of his town.

He says the builders have given no consideration to the people who live near the Meadowlands.

"It's like bullies from another neighborhood have come in and decided to take over your neighborhood," he said. "It's someone coming over to our turf."
Biviano says he lives in a condo on a hillside west of the Meadowlands, and will have to stare at the Ferris wheel instead of marveling at the view of New York. He started a Web site to get the protest going: savetheskyline.com.
Biviano's only consolation is that the FAA forced the developers to scrap plans to make the wheel nearly 400 feet tall - because it might have interfered with traffic from Teterboro Airport.

The developers didn't return calls for comment yesterday.

66nexus
February 15th, 2008, 09:03 PM
By revered I meant all this development in a swamp area when you have perfectly good cities nearby i.e. JC. (I'm sure they could find a way to assimilate the new space)

And class A office space? Why?

mykingdomlisa
February 16th, 2008, 09:04 PM
appreciate it well done

giselehaslice
February 22nd, 2008, 08:20 AM
Meadowlands Xanadu and Pepsi Announce “The Pepsi Globe,” America’s Largest Ferris Wheel


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE (http://www.businesswire.com/))--Meadowlands Xanadu, a unique sports, leisure, shopping and family entertainment destination in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and Pepsi announced a 10-year tenant/naming rights agreement to create a Pepsi-branded experience featuring America’s largest Ferris, or observation, wheel, the 287-foot-tall “Pepsi Globe.”
“The Pepsi Globe is an iconic symbol that is reflective of our brand’s identity– it’s bold, it’s contemporary, and it’s fun,” said Cie Nicholson, SVP and CMO, Pepsi-Cola North America. “Having a visionary partner like Meadowlands Xanadu, who is delivering an unprecedented consumer experience that is environmentally responsible, makes this a tremendous collaboration that fits perfectly with our Performance with Purpose mission.”
The Pepsi Globe will be green powered year round, with energy obtained through the purchase of wind power credits from a Texas generating plant, and it will be at least partially made from recycled materials.
“The Pepsi Globe will be an instant landmark – the signature attraction heralding the premiere entertainment and shopping destination in the country,” said Laurence Siegel, President, Meadowlands Development, the creators of Meadowlands Xanadu. “The great wheel is also a colossal branding opportunity and we are delighted that a company with the power, reach and prestige of Pepsi has joined forces with us to promote their brand and Meadowlands Xanadu. We look forward to an extremely productive and successful relationship.”
Pepsi will offer unique interactive experiences during the Pepsi Globe ride, which will last approximately 25 minutes for a full revolution and offer sweeping vistas of the New York skyline and the Hudson River. Groups of up to 20 visitors each will enter 26 glass-enclosed, climate controlled capsules for the ride of a lifetime.
Travelers approaching Meadowlands Xanadu will identify it by its signature Ferris wheel. The iconic Pepsi Globe will be as recognizable and visible a symbol as St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, Seattle’s Space Needle or the London Eye.
As part of the 10-year tenant/naming rights agreement, Pepsi will implement a series of promotional activities and tie-ins, including the nationwide distribution of 450 million beverage cans featuring the Pepsi Globe at Meadowlands Xanadu, commemorating the wheel’s grand opening event, and designed by Rodrigo Bilbao, VP – Development Director for Meadowlands Xanadu, and an avid Pepsi drinker. Each year thereafter, Pepsi will distribute millions of Meadowlands Xanadu co-branded cans throughout the metropolitan area.
Michael Kassan of Media Link, an advisor to Meadowlands Xanadu, said, “This unprecedented agreement with Pepsi is the first of many for Meadowlands Xanadu. It sets the stage for all our future sponsorships, and we look forward to welcoming additional brand partners.”
The Xanadu opportunity was brought to Pepsi by brand energy agency Protagonist, led by Matti Leshem. "Matti's been a terrific partner. He didn't just make the introduction, he's an integral part of developing the ride, from creating an interactive experience inside the capsules to building Globe-shaped recycling bins for placement throughout the venue," said Kristina Mangelsdorf, director of marketing for Pepsi.
When complete, Meadowlands Xanadu will encompass 94 acres and will feature five distinct Lifestyle Districts: sports, entertainment, youth culture, food and home, and fashion. The project will offer Pepsi an opportunity to build the Pepsi experience and will also provide a host of other significant branding opportunities for other sponsors throughout the development.

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080221005671&newsLang=en

Ninjahedge
February 22nd, 2008, 09:12 AM
I can't wait!

When is the Coke Slide coming?!?!? Maybe the Dorito-go round or the Twinkie Teacups??!?!?

It would be like combining an amusement park with the snack food aisle at Duane Reed!!! ;)



In all seriousness, though. I hope I am not "treated" to a large "Pepsi" sign every time I run down route 3.

Billboards are bad enough (Like Budwiser supports the NJ devils any more than any other team), I do not need a 100' tall rotating flashing Pepsi ad.... :(

arcman210
February 22nd, 2008, 02:42 PM
Large scale advertisements have proven to be successful and also have become local landmarks which people love and treat like monuments.

http://www.labnol.org/wp/images/2007/07/colgate-clock.jpg

http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/061107/061107_chavez_citgo_vmed1p.widec.jpg

giselehaslice
February 22nd, 2008, 02:58 PM
^agree. This actually could be really awesome in my opinion.

For some reason this site seems to host alot of NIMBY's, even though it might not be exactly in their back yard....

arcman210
February 22nd, 2008, 03:23 PM
didn't realize the rendering hadn't been posted here yet

http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates_impact/2008/02/large_pepsi.jpg

scrollhectic
February 22nd, 2008, 03:39 PM
Considering how unattractive the rest of Xanadu is, this is the coolest component of the design. I think it will add that "WOW" factor that a large project like this needs to really be profitable. This project would have been cool in Newark near the airport. High visibility for Pepsi and Xanadu given the airports high traffic count. Nonetheless, this is a brilliant advertising strategy. Bravo Xanadu!

MidtownGuy
February 22nd, 2008, 03:46 PM
For some reason this site seems to host alot of NIMBY's, even though it might not be exactly in their back yard....

The site hosts people who are engaged, pay attention to details, and are rightfully critical when something doesn't look right. Just because this isn't a cheerleader site for any and every project, does not mean we are a congregation of NIMBY's.:p
We question things, pull them apart, and look at the underside. Many of us are architects, artists, designers, and engineers. If the preference is for unconditional gushing and unqualified praise for everything developers decide to build, you might feel more in tune with the posts at some of the other architecture forums.
I don't mind the Colgate Clock, but that picture of the giant CITGO sign is not exactly convincing evidence that huge advertisements are somehow worthy of universal love.:rolleyes:
That said, the ferris wheel does't say the name "Pepsi", just uses the colorful logo(Which is round anyway, like a ferris wheel) so I don't have any big objection.

arcman210
February 22nd, 2008, 04:13 PM
I don't mind the Colgate Clock, but that picture of the giant CITGO sign is not exactly convincing evidence that huge advertisements are somehow worthy of universal love.

People in Boston went absolutely crazy when a local politician tried to start an effort a year or two ago to have the sign taken down because if its link to the Venezuelan government... the people of Boston just wouldn't let it happen. They love the sign too much, it has become their landmark the area it's in. You might not love it, nor do I, but Bostonians sure as hell do.

MidtownGuy
February 22nd, 2008, 04:20 PM
because if its link to the Venezuelan government

THAT's why? Well that's just about the most idiotic reason I've ever heard to take something down. I would have protested too. Not because I love the sign, but because that "politician" sounds like a grandstanding jerk.
Was he also one of the geniuses trying to outlaw "French" fries?

arcman210
February 22nd, 2008, 04:26 PM
I agree, that was a BS excuse to try to take the sign down.

I just dont like it because I'm Yankees fan I always see it looming over the back of Fenway Park's green monster when the Yankees play the Red Sox.

JCMAN320
February 22nd, 2008, 04:49 PM
I look forward to it. This is just going to be more reason for tourists to come to New Jersey. Jersey City, Hoboken, Prudential Center in Newark, New Giants Stadium, Xanadu, Pepsi Globe, Jersey Shore, Princeton, Rutgers, etc.... This will boost the states dollars like nothing and will become a landmark for New Jersey

Peteynyc1
February 23rd, 2008, 04:09 PM
God I'm thirsty.

66nexus
February 23rd, 2008, 10:45 PM
I look forward to it. This is just going to be more reason for tourists to come to New Jersey. Jersey City, Hoboken, Prudential Center in Newark, New Giants Stadium, Xanadu, Pepsi Globe, Jersey Shore, Princeton, Rutgers, etc.... This will boost the states dollars like nothing and will become a landmark for New Jersey


That's very true. I didn't even look at it that way, so thus, I feel better about it lol

millertime83
February 24th, 2008, 10:54 PM
so will each car of the ferris wheel resemble a giant pepsi can?

JCMAN320
February 24th, 2008, 10:57 PM
Lol good question

Ninjahedge
February 25th, 2008, 09:44 AM
The only thing is, if I wanted a "times square" kind of feeling, I would, I don't know, GO TO TIMES SQUARE!.

As long as they do not putthe Pepsi Name on it, next to the formerly Contenental AIRLINES and now Izod Arena, it will be tolerable. But from the pepsi circle, to the nike swoosh, to the Coke swish, to the target bullseye, etc etc etc, it gets to be a little much.

I am just tired of being subliminally programmed.


Man I am getting thirsty!

lofter1
February 25th, 2008, 10:24 AM
If done well with a company name attached it could be following in the footsteps of some big winners ...

What about the WOOLWORTH Building?

And ROCKEFELLER Center?

And TIMES Square?

And DISNEY Land?

Plus GHIRADELLI Square, and on and on ...

Ninjahedge
February 25th, 2008, 11:32 AM
If done well with a company name attached it could be following in the footsteps of some big winners ...

What about the WOOLWORTH Building?

And ROCKEFELLER Center?

And TIMES Square?

And DISNEY Land?

Plus GHIRADELLI Square, and on and on ...

1. I do not see logos on those buildings in much the same way as this.

Woolworth does not have washing machines attached to it, Rockerfeller looks liek a building (where are his logo's?), and Times Square does not have the NYT logo all over it. Maybe it is hidden undfer all the other logos.

2. The key to naming is just that, names. We have always named things after people. So Ghiradelli sounds more like an Italian name to me than a chocolate square.

IZOD? Coke? PNC BANK? There is no question where those come from and what product they are attached to. Small things, such as removing the word "Bank" from the "PNC BANK Arts center" would make them less obvious and flow better.

But flow is not what they are concerned about. They want name recognition and advertisment.

I think that was somehow different from the names of some of the bigger buildings/developments of yesteryear. No doubt Rockerfeller wanted to be known, but I don't think he built the center as a specific ad for his products, but more as his baby. A huge development with his name on it. The feelings are similar, but different enough to change how things are seen by others.



Bottom line is, they have kind have gotten away from even trying to be subtle about this kind of thing. Now, instead of a ferris wheel that would be called the Pepsi wheel, and maybe have little logos on the chairs and entrance gate, they are making a huge 100' tall (I don't know, how tall?) lit, rotating Pepsi logo.


I guess the spinning teacups just weren't good enough for them. I hear Pepto was thinking about them though. Them and the Tilt-a-Whirl.......

arcman210
February 25th, 2008, 08:45 PM
1. I do not see logos on those buildings in much the same way as this.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b6/Walter_Gropius_photo_MetLife_Building_fassade_New_ York_USA_2005-10-03.jpg/450px-Walter_Gropius_photo_MetLife_Building_fassade_New_ York_USA_2005-10-03.jpg

http://nymag.com/images/2/daily/food/07/09/18_newyorktimes_lgl.jpg

http://en.structurae.de/files/photos/1/100km023/pict7044.jpg

http://phillyskyline.com/bldgs/psfs/psfs1_fromcityhall.jpg

there are a number of skyscrapers that are known for or have a prominent logo on them. in the case of psfs, it is such an important part of the building that it remained even after psfs was no longer the name of the company.

this wheel, although not a building, will be a landmark... and we can assume pepsi will be around as a brand for a long time. people will grow to love it (or at least tolerate it).

giselehaslice
February 25th, 2008, 10:05 PM
^Very true.

Of course there will be some haters of the project, but for most people driving thru the ugliest part of the turnpike, it will be a shining beacon, and could very well become an international icon for the NewYork metro region.

66nexus
February 25th, 2008, 11:41 PM
^Oh I'm def a hater of it, but much more in terms of the look and the location

z22
February 25th, 2008, 11:45 PM
...and could very well become an international icon for the NewYork metro region.

It will be in Jersey. So, there is no way to create an international icon there.

Ninjahedge
February 26th, 2008, 09:13 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b6/Walter_Gropius_photo_MetLife_Building_fassade_New_ York_USA_2005-10-03.jpg/450px-Walter_Gropius_photo_MetLife_Building_fassade_New_ York_USA_2005-10-03.jpg

I do not like the "Met Life" on the top of this. I think it is clunky-chunky.


http://nymag.com/images/2/daily/food/07/09/18_newyorktimes_lgl.jpg

This is at the bottom of the bulding. If it was emblazoned up all 4 sides so that you could see it from NJ I would object to it.


http://en.structurae.de/files/photos/1/100km023/pict7044.jpg

I just do not LIKE this building, you are trying to prove a point with this one?


http://phillyskyline.com/bldgs/psfs/psfs1_fromcityhall.jpg

And this ugly one is trying to prove another point???


there are a number of skyscrapers that are known for or have a prominent logo on them. in the case of psfs, it is such an important part of the building that it remained even after psfs was no longer the name of the company.

And I do not like a lot of them. Please show me the logo on the Chrystler Building. How about the Woolworth Building? ESB? picking a few out that have a logo, some not very prominantly displayed either (NYT) does not change my argument.


this wheel, although not a building, will be a landmark... and we can assume pepsi will be around as a brand for a long time. people will grow to love it (or at least tolerate it).

What??!? he whole "landmark to pepsi" is what I am objecting to! You do it subtly an dyou get a longer standing approval and name. Something that people can see and not be bludgeoned with.

Ninjahedge
February 26th, 2008, 09:14 AM
It will be in Jersey. So, there is no way to create an international icon there.

Please post somethnig worth reading, not flame bait.

kevin
February 26th, 2008, 12:43 PM
And I do not like a lot of them. Please show me the logo on the Chrystler Building. How about the Woolworth Building? ESB? picking a few out that have a logo, some not very prominantly displayed either (NYT) does not change my argument.


The Chrysler, Woolworth, Citibank, etc. buildings all became logos of their respective corporations. You still persist in calling 405 Lexington Avenue the Chrysler building, yet Chrysler hasn't owned it since 1957. The building itself was designed as a beacon for the automobile giant.

from wikipedia:

The distinctive ornamentation of the building is based on features that were then being used on Chrysler automobiles. The corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles, replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments. On the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps.One of the most endearing structures in the NYC skyline is nothing more than a corporate icon. Then again, most of the structures in the skyline are, since it's the corporations who generally foot the bill for the buildings.

Another, 233 Broadway, is one where the original owner's intent was to build something glorious and synonymous with the corporate name that would stand the test of time. Woolworth's is defunct, but you still call the building by its old corporate name, not by its respective address.

153 E. 53rd Street is very much an icon in the skyline, and has served its purpose well since most people identify it by the corporation that owns or built it, the Citigroup Center.

And finally, many still refer to 200 Park Avenue as the Pan Am building, but today we refer to it by the corporate name that now adorns its facade, the Met Life building.

These are all important landmarks, made famous not because they were buildings corporations purchased naming rights to, but landmarks built so that corporations could affix their names to them and be associated with the greatest and tallest buildings in the world. The roles may have reversed a bit, where the sponsor corporation isn't directly building the icon, but by paying for the naming rights, they're indirectly financing its completion, and thus its possibility to attain icon status.

arcman210
February 26th, 2008, 12:56 PM
I do not like the "Met Life" on the top of this. I think it is clunky-chunky.

I just do not LIKE this building, you are trying to prove a point with this one?

And this ugly one is trying to prove another point???

Its not about whether or not you LIKE the building for its design or architecture, its that a logo or name on the building can become an important feature of the building if done right. What I'm trying to show is that these buildings are known by the name or logo on them. The names and logos on some skyscrapers and buildings are one of the most important features of the building. There are still plenty of people who refer to the Metlife Building as the Pan Am Building, simply because they associate it with the name that was atop it for so many years.

And its only a ferris wheel in New Jersey were talking about here, so its not something to get too crazy about.

Ninjahedge
February 26th, 2008, 01:55 PM
Its not about whether or not you LIKE the building for its design or architecture, its that a logo or name on the building can become an important feature of the building if done right. What I'm trying to show is that these buildings are known by the name or logo on them. The names and logos on some skyscrapers and buildings are one of the most important features of the building. There are still plenty of people who refer to the Metlife Building as the Pan Am Building, simply because they associate it with the name that was atop it for so many years.

And its only a ferris wheel in New Jersey were talking about here, so its not something to get too crazy about.


Actually Arc, it is the whole thing. I have been watching this as driving by, and the rendering reminds me of a giant 1950's bowling alley.

I am not surprised, but I am disappointed that they did not try something that fit a little more with the environment it was located, the marshland. Instead of blending and making it something like a modern log-construction resort/mall they turned it into a bowling alley/mall/advertisement for Pepsi.

Is it worse than the stadiums? A bit. But no worse than the large lit billboard for the stadiums. It just does not improve the area at all, and I am disappointed with what they spent so much time, money, and legislation to get built.

arcman210
February 26th, 2008, 02:04 PM
I agree with you, the whole complex overall is absolutely hideous. Its absurd that the color scheme and pattern was approved let alone even concieved by human brains.

On the other hand, I think the Pepsi logo on the wheel will take away from some of that, and draw peoples attention away from the ugliness of the entire project itself.

giselehaslice
February 26th, 2008, 02:51 PM
This whole thing is getting completely blown out of proportion!

z22
February 26th, 2008, 07:07 PM
Please post somethnig worth reading, not flame bait.
It's not the intention to be a flame bait. I just personally don't see a way that it will be an international icon there at that location. You may see it differently. It's good to keep the hope up, I guess. Anyway, no more comment from me on this subject.

millertime83
February 27th, 2008, 01:13 PM
It will be in Jersey. So, there is no way to create an international icon there.

yay we have a troll

Ninjahedge
February 28th, 2008, 09:21 AM
It's not the intention to be a flame bait. I just personally don't see a way that it will be an international icon there at that location. You may see it differently. It's good to keep the hope up, I guess. Anyway, no more comment from me on this subject.


Yeah, Liberty State Park is such an eyesore...... ;)

I know what you are saying, but NYC can only get so big. NJ has the blessing and curse of being so close, but if the transportation system is networked and expanded a bit better, maybe we can get a genuine development rather than a NYC spiderweb.......

millertime83
March 2nd, 2008, 11:08 AM
Iniside of the "Snow Dome." I don't know why it's called a dome.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2218/2304965926_79e763b4eb.jpg

You can only see about halfway up the slope due to the line of sight.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2147/2304166807_eb221f3032_b.jpg
Outside of the Snow Dome. What an ugly color scheme
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2075/2304964742_60a3433615_b.jpg

Cabellos

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2322/2304169679_6d6c2abbd4_b.jpg

scrollhectic
March 12th, 2008, 02:20 AM
Last updated: March 11, 2008 10:39am
By Eric Peterson


http://www.globest.com/newspics/nej_meadowlandsxanadu.jpg
Meadowlands Xanadu

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Merlin Entertainments has signed a deal with Meadowlands Development to operate a 44,000-sf Legoland Discovery Centre at Meadowlands Xanadu, the $2-billion, 2.3-million-sf retail and entertainment complex currently under construction within the Meadowlands Sports Complex here. Terms of the deal were not released.

“Merlin Entertainments has a gift for attractions that combine fun and learning for children and families,” says Larry Siegel, president of Meadowlands Development.

“We are currently opening five or six new attractions every year around the world,” says Nick Varney, CEO of the London-based Merlin. “The attractions at Meadowlands Xanadu will be important additions to our portfolio.”

The new location, Merlin’s second and largest Legoland Discovery Centre in the US--the other is in Carlsbad, CA--will feature a central structure fashioned out of the iconic interlocking colored bricks. Also part of the plan are rides, an adventure trail, a cinema, play area, party rooms, café and a room for rotating exhibitions.

Also as part of the deal, Merlin will operate Meadowlands Xanadu’s Pepsi Globe (http://www.globest.com/news/1099_1099/newjersey/168489-1.html), a 287-foot-high Ferris wheel. Meadowlands Development and Pepsi revealed the wheel’s naming rights deal, said to be valued at $100 million, in February.

“Merlin Entertainments marked the centennial for the world with the opening of the London Eye,” Siegel says. “They will make their mark here operating the Pepsi Globe and the Legoland Discovery Centre.”

Ninjahedge
March 12th, 2008, 09:52 AM
Legoland Coming to Meadowlands Xanadu

Funny.

I thought they were the original designers of the complex..... :confused:

JCMAN320
March 18th, 2008, 07:00 PM
Sports authority demanding a review of Xanadu appearance

by Maura McDermott/The Star-Ledger Tuesday March 18, 2008, 4:04 PM

Responding to complaints about the look of the Xanadu complex rising in the Meadowlands, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority is demanding a show-and-tell by the project's architects.

The authority's board "has widespread concern with the current appearance" of Xanadu, and expects a presentation by the project's architects at a public meeting on March 27, according to a letter from Carl Goldberg, chair of the board, to Larry Siegel, president of Meadowlands Xanadu.

Local residents and officials have complained about the project's blue-and-orange exterior, with state Senate President Richard Codey calling it "yucky-looking."

The developers also must submit plans for the proposed Pepsi-branded Ferris wheel, Goldberg wrote. The nearly 300-foot wheel would bear a 150-foot, electronic Pepsi sign, according to a $100 million sponsorship deal reached by developers and the soft-drink company.

However, the Pepsi deal cannot go forward unless the authority approves the design of the wheel and the sponsorship terms, Goldberg said today.

"We'll deal with the Ferris wheel and the sponsorship of the Ferris wheel as we've dealt with every other aspect of the project, with a thorough and complete review to make sure it's consistent with the original conceptual presentation," he said.

The $2 billion, two million-square-foot Xanadu retail and entertainment complex is expected to open in November. It is funded by Colony Capital, a private equity firm.

Richard Edmonds, a spokesman for the developer expressed confidence in the project's design today.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," Edmonds said. "There were probably people who thought the Eiffel Tower was really ugly when it was being built. We love the design. Plus, it's a work in progress."

arcman210
March 18th, 2008, 11:31 PM
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," Edmonds said. "There were probably people who thought the Eiffel Tower was really ugly when it was being built. We love the design. Plus, it's a work in progress."

Could be the worst possible comparison I've ever heard in my life. The Eiffel Tower wasnt covered in scraps of different colored plastic. The exterior of this complex is absolutely horrendus. The renderings are ugly, the appearance of whats already up is ugly. Its probably much too late now to change anything, lets hope it looks better when its done... but I have doubts this will become a landmark known for its beauty. The giant Pepsi Wheel will hopefully take the attention away from the rest of the building.

millertime83
March 19th, 2008, 01:09 PM
don't forget the latest additional to the color pallet: Green

Peter Quennell
March 24th, 2008, 07:29 PM
Great that you guys here are already onto this crazy stuff. Publicity could really make a difference to the outcome here.

I took shots of the Xanadu color schemes yesterday, and posted them here today - click and they will expand into Acrobats, so you can see the ha ha finer points:

http://galaxyrising.com/ee/index.php?/trifecta/comments/xanadu_look_emerges_big_reaction_now_to_the_tacky_ eyesore/

[I hate to post raw links like that; if Edward drops by, perhaps he can explain why my href's never work here.]

Two reporters just emailed me that the NJSEA meeting Thursday is open to we the public.

It is at 10:00 am in the conference room on the ground floor of the horse-racing facility.

I'm looking forward to this meeting more than to any other in years.

I sure hope the Times and Sun and Observer and the news channels are feeling the same way. This really is a great emerging story for them.

Any good tips for getting them to be there?

66nexus
March 25th, 2008, 12:09 AM
Maybe they were going for the Newark/Elizabeth seaport look: that color scheme looks like a bunch of stacked blue/white boxcar trailers

Ninjahedge
March 25th, 2008, 09:34 AM
http://galaxyrising.com/ee/images/photoshows/Developmentswest/xanadu/59.jpg

Ugh! Talk about conflict!

I also agree that there is too much exposed steel under the ski ramp. That will cost more in the summer to keep it insulated. Who the hell thought that all that dead space would be fine?

The place looks like a giant bowling alley. Same tacky bathroom-like color schemes. Just BAD!

Unfortunately, instead of any real feedback or info on this, all we get is a picture of a dancer getting into a bizarre x-shape that we see silhouetted on an ad as we drive along route 3 to the Lincoln Tunnel.

I have not liked this idea since day one, and its implimentation does nothing to change my feelings towards it.


Just wait until Route 3 starts getting the mall traffic! Whoopie! Giants Gameday Traffic EVERY DAY!!!!!!

lofter1
March 25th, 2008, 11:36 AM
And, besides ... it hardly fits in with the stunning architecture in the near vicinity :cool:

OmegaNYC
March 25th, 2008, 12:22 PM
Maybe they were going for the Newark/Elizabeth seaport look: that color scheme looks like a bunch of stacked blue/white boxcar trailers

you know, I was thinking the samething. That color does look like the seaport. ;) There is no other way to put it: this thing looks like something out of the 60's

Ninjahedge
March 25th, 2008, 01:57 PM
And, besides ... it hardly fits in with the stunning architecture in the near vicinity :cool:

Pointless rebuttal and you know it Loft!! ;)

Just because everyone around you is a child molester does not mean people should not be mad that you are.

Not YOU you of course, but I think you know what I mean......


.erk.

lofter1
March 25th, 2008, 02:46 PM
In some instances context is everything. :cool:

66nexus
March 25th, 2008, 03:15 PM
you know, I was thinking the samething. That color does look like the seaport. ;) There is no other way to put it: this thing looks like something out of the 60's

lol. At the very least they could have made the color consistent, but the colors appear to range the full spectrum on the color palette.

Ninjahedge
March 26th, 2008, 08:57 AM
lol. At the very least they could have made the color consistent, but the colors appear to range the full spectrum on the color palette.

From Avacado Green to Arizona Sunset. Yep, that covers all of them!!!

Where's the giant Lava Lamp?

JCMAN320
March 26th, 2008, 03:54 PM
The Pepsi Globe is your lava lamp, the Pepsi logo looks swirly like the goo in a lava lamp. ;)

Peter Quennell
March 28th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Good evening everybody.

Re the color scheme, I knew you'd enjoy that.

One journalist found some color specialist who said the clashing colors could be quite intentional to draw in the under-25 crowd; laboratory rats have proven conclusively that... you know.

Sort of an update on that one here, and I'll post anything else I pick up:

http://galaxyrising.com/ee/index.php?/trifecta/comments/heads_up_on_xanadu_watch_tonights_local_news/

Also here are about 40 shots of the interior, taken on the "press tour" on thursday afternoon. Being a poster here on Edward's show did the trick of getting me in (just kidding!)

http://galaxyrising.com/ee/index.php?/trifecta/comments/inside_xanadus_vast_interior_just_eight_months_to_ opening/

Please click on any you might want to see larger images of.

This was one very exciting walk-through, and much of the raw construction looked very beautiful in the low light (really).

It was also a very fast walk-though; we seemed to be walking at 5 miles an hour the whole time.

I wouldn"t object to doing it monthly from now on, at a slower clip. Maybe somebody should, to make sure they dont get carried away again...!!

Actually both the Xanadu crowd mand the press crowd were really goof fun to mix with. Press folks clearly check here and some had seen the "colors post".

The best reporting I'm seeing is by Maura McDermott of the Star-Ledger. She really is holding their feet to the fire.

JCMAN320
April 10th, 2008, 10:47 AM
Gunman is at large in Xanadu site

by The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk
Thursday April 10, 2008, 9:25 AM

A gunman today forced his way into the Meadowlands Xanadu Mall construction site, police said.

The man approached a security guard at 8:30 a.m., asked to enter the site, then drew a gun, said State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones.

The guard allowed the man to enter, and he remained at large at 9:30 a.m., Jones said.

State Police and East Rutherford police were searching the site.

JCMAN320
April 24th, 2008, 10:50 AM
Private tour of Xanadu leaves Corzine 'impressed,' aide says

Thursday, April 24, 2008
BY MAURA McDERMOTT
Star-Ledger Staff

The Xanadu megamall's 18-screen movie theater, 800-foot indoor ski slope and skydiving wind tunnels aren't open for business yet, but Gov. Jon Corzine couldn't resist taking a look around yesterday.

Corzine walked through the half-mile-long, 2 million-square-foot complex with an entourage of state officials at the invitation of developer Larry Siegel.

The governor "was impressed with the site as a destination place, not just a mall," Corzine spokesman Jim Gardner said afterward. "He found the facility very impressive, with some exciting venues."

The private tour started with an hourlong presentation about the $2 billion retail and entertainment complex, which is due to open in November.

Dennis Robinson, chief executive of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, said, "We thought it was very timely for him to get a feel for himself, exactly what it looks like now and what it's going to look like in the future, and the incredible potential for jobs and economic activity." The sports authority owns the Meadowlands property where Xanadu is being built.

The discussion at the sports authority's offices touched briefly on other projects rising at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, including the new football stadium for the Giants and Jets, a new rail station and road improvements, according to John Samerjan, a spokesman for the authority.

Corzine was joined on the tour by the state's economic growth czar, Gary Rose; Carl Goldberg, the sports authority's board chairman; and Joseph Buckelew, who heads the authority's planning committee.

Xanadu has drawn ridicule for its exterior mishmash of orange, blue and green, but the governor declined to judge the structure's looks while it was still under construction, according to those who attended the private showing.

Siegel said: "You can walk through the project and get an understanding of what's going to be there and why it's going to be the terrific destination we think it's going to be. Hopefully he was impressed by the amount and the kinds of entertainment that we're going to have."

The project has generated 25,000 long-term construction jobs, and there will be 9,000 full-time employees and 4,000 part-timers at the complex once it opens, Siegel said. It is being funded by Colony Capital, a private equity firm.


Maura McDermott may be reached at (973) 392-7964 or

mmcdermott@starledger.com.

Ninjahedge
April 24th, 2008, 11:45 AM
but the governor declined to judge the structure's looks while it was still under construction

Which means he thinks it is ugly too.

If you do not offer compliments on the aesthetics of a project that large, or opt out of 'judging it before it is finished', chances are pretty good that you do not like it either.

I have no doubt that it will probably have a lot of neat stuff, but there have been very few, if any, supporters of its exterior design.

JCMAN320
May 8th, 2008, 10:08 PM
Bill would clear way for aquarium at Xanadu

Wednesday, May 07, 2008
BY MAURA McDERMOTT
Star-Ledger Staff

The Meadowlands Xanadu shopping and entertainment complex could include a massive aquarium if state law is changed to allow it, according to the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

A bill permitting an aquarium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex was introduced by state Assemblymen Fred Scalera (D-Essex) and Gary Schaer (D-Passaic), and referred to the Assembly's tourism and gaming committee.

No state money would be used to build or operate it, according to Schaer and Carl Goldberg, the sports authority's chair.

"The first question that everyone is going to ask is the financial consequences," Schaer said yesterday. "I'm not willing to join in with a bill that's going to cost the state money in a time when we don't have money."

The developers of the $2 billion Xanadu complex are in talks with an undisclosed private company that runs aquariums, Goldberg said. Xanadu's main backer is Colony Capital, a private equity firm.

The state law that now prohibits an aquarium at the sports complex was designed to prevent competition with the aquarium in Camden, but Xanadu is about a two-hour drive away, so it shouldn't hurt that facility's business, Goldberg said.

"Hopefully people will come to the conclusion that there shouldn't be any disruption," he said.

The Camden attraction, known as Adventure Aquarium, is run by Herschend Family Entertainment, which took over the facility in December. Its previous operator was Steiner + Associates.

Greg Charbeneau, executive director of the aquarium, said Camden's facility is "extremely successful," with nearly a million visitors a year, and it stopped receiving state subsidies in 2005.

He said he wasn't aware of the state law banning an aquarium at the Meadowlands. But he cautioned that Xanadu's aquarium would face intense competition from other attractions in the metropolitan area, including the aquariums in Camden and Brooklyn.

"They've got to take a look at the market and make sure that business would be viable," he said. "In this industry there's only so many expenses you can trim or shave."

The animals need high-quality food and careful attention to their living conditions, and the staff needs to be top-notch, he said.

He added, there is a "tremendous amount of water circulating around a building that has miles of electrical conduits. It takes a certain level of expertise."

Goldberg said the aquarium operator negotiating with Xanadu "is really world renowned for ecologically sensitive and very well structured aquarium experiences."

The enormous tank would be visible both from outside and inside the complex, acting as a wall of the building, according to the developer's plans, Goldberg said.

Lloyd Kaplan, a spokesman for Xanadu, declined to give any details about the aquarium plans, but he said developers "are pleased that consideration is being given to the possible addition of an aquarium to the array of entertainment and retail attractions" at the complex

Xanadu has been criticized as a mega-mall that would compete with all the other shopping centers in North Jersey, an image developers have sought to dispel.

The complex, due to open in November, will include an indoor ski slope, skydiving wind tunnels and an 18-screen cinema.

An aquarium would be yet another entertainment attraction at Xanadu, Goldberg said.

"The sports authority was pleased with the proposal," Goldberg said, "because it clearly is indicative of Meadowlands Xanadu and Colony's commitment to making this fully an entertainment and retail destination."

unknown memory
May 10th, 2008, 12:12 AM
Hmm. I would actually like that very much. I never went to the Camden Aquarium as it's pretty far. When I go to Coney Island, I keep forgetting that there's an aquarium there. I've only been to the aquarium in Pt. Pleasant. That's my only NJ aquarium experience. :) I've been to other aquariums across the country and the world. Most impressed with Australia's unlimited amount of zoos and aquariums.

Plus, having competition is actually very good if they're aiming for tourism. If it wasn't for competition for attractions, Florida would not have tourism as its number 1 drive. Same goes for Southern California. Every day, they have competition among theme parks since they're so close in proximity. Two hours is nothing compared to So Cal's. Start with Universal Studios in Hollywood. Fifteen minutes drive later, you're in Knotts' Berry Farm. Fifteen minutes after that, you got Disney. One hour away from Disney is Six Flags. :rolleyes:

But the goal... "Entertainment and retail" destination. They just had to add the "r" word. Grr.. Enough of retail! >__< I live in retail...

scrollhectic
May 10th, 2008, 03:50 PM
Start with Universal Studios in Hollywood. Fifteen minutes drive later, you're in Knotts' Berry Farm

What freeway are u taking? Obviously not the 5

unknown memory
May 11th, 2008, 12:22 AM
^ I don't remember. ^^; Haha.. Went to So Cal in March. Spent most of the time in Ontario but managed to stay in the Anahiem/Anahiem Hills area a little before that. How I got those estimated times was through the GPS. Used the GPS for all of our crazy freeway trips. U-turned a lot too. ^__^ But I remember distinctively timing the distance between Disneyland and Knotts. The GPS wasn't too far off except the time I got was more like 13 minutes.

Alternate1985
May 12th, 2008, 05:47 PM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll80/NickMango/CIMG9836.jpg


http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll80/NickMango/CIMG9845.jpg


http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll80/NickMango/CIMG9847.jpg


http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll80/NickMango/CIMG9852.jpg


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http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll80/NickMango/CIMG9863.jpg

Ninjahedge
May 13th, 2008, 02:23 PM
UGLY!!!!!



As for the aquarium? Good idea up front, but bad in the long run. People lose interest in Aquariums an dthey do not pull in a hell of a lot of revenue.

Thy are also a BEAST to maintain (between filtering and circulation systems and just plain holding that much water for that long!).

I went on an inspection of the Brooklyn Aquarium a while back, and they are having problems with some of the tanks, especially the salt water ones. Putting in an aquarium sounds great until you realize how much it actually turns out to cost.

What would be the incentive to do this? They have obviously researched it themselves. tax break maybe? Why would an equity firm be anxious to build something that is not known for its $$$?

unknown memory
May 13th, 2008, 03:21 PM
^ That's the Brooklyn Aquarium that you base your observation on. (When it comes to some attractions in NYC, you don't expect the same quality that you'd find elsewhere. Which is why, Astroland isn't that appealing either.) Have you been to other aquariums though? I've been to the one in Boston several years ago, and they maintain it very well. Don't think the visitors in Boston lose much interest when going to the aquarium.

And the only incentive I can think of is "tourism". Why else would you build an aquarium? For the locals' interest only? NJ's third largest industry is tourism.

Ninjahedge
May 13th, 2008, 05:15 PM
I do not believe the Boston Aquarium is 100% profitable, but I do not have any numbers on this.

It would be good to see them though. I believe that Aquariums are one of those items that find it hard to turn a profit. They have large expenses and not as devoted followings as other entertainment venues.

It seems more like an education venue, albeit entertaining. I have not heard of many being moneymakers based on their entrance fees alone.

Oh, as for Brooklyn, my point was not to talk about the condition, but the fact that it takes a LOT of maintainance to keep one of these guys running. That costs money. So using that much cash on something that may not be able to support itself.........

It is not a BAD thing, I just don't think it would be a practical venue.

giselehaslice
May 13th, 2008, 06:32 PM
While Aquariums are not profitable, I'm sure that isnt the sole purpose of them. They are for education and sometimes for conservation.

Museums are not profitable either, but they still get built.

injcsince81
May 14th, 2008, 04:08 PM
UGLY!!!!!





What he said.

What's with this epileptic seizure-inducing, multicolor container look?

What genius designed THAT?

unknown memory
May 14th, 2008, 06:20 PM
I do not believe the Boston Aquarium is 100% profitable, but I do not have any numbers on this.

It would be good to see them though. I believe that Aquariums are one of those items that find it hard to turn a profit. They have large expenses and not as devoted followings as other entertainment venues.

It seems more like an education venue, albeit entertaining. I have not heard of many being moneymakers based on their entrance fees alone.

Oh, as for Brooklyn, my point was not to talk about the condition, but the fact that it takes a LOT of maintainance to keep one of these guys running. That costs money. So using that much cash on something that may not be able to support itself.........

It is not a BAD thing, I just don't think it would be a practical venue.
I agree with giselehaslice. Every business has profit as one of their purposes, but aquariums are meant to be made for education and conservation. Profit is the last thing to think of. Just like the Bronx Zoo. Don't know how much profit the zoo brings in but as long as they bring in people, that's all that matters (which then brings in money).

Boston Aquarium may not be "super profitable" but as long as they keep having year round visitors, that is good business. ^___^ Whatever they earn helps support their maintainance fees and conservation support.

Ninjahedge
May 15th, 2008, 10:29 AM
While Aquariums are not profitable, I'm sure that isnt the sole purpose of them. They are for education and sometimes for conservation.

Museums are not profitable either, but they still get built.

But, you see, that was the whole point.

I only skimmed, but didn't some politician/official say something about it not costing the community anything? that was my contension, that this would not be a cost-free money maker for the community. It is difficult to turn a profit on something like that and I believe, do not hold me to this, that most need civic support to continue operation. I know Brooklyn does (even though, as said before, it is not exactly representitive of all aquariums...)

Ah, here it is:


No state money would be used to build or operate it, according to Schaer and Carl Goldberg, the sports authority's chair.

"The first question that everyone is going to ask is the financial consequences," Schaer said yesterday. "I'm not willing to join in with a bill that's going to cost the state money in a time when we don't have money."

I am only worried that this will, eventually, cost the taxpayer some money either through direct costs OR through allowances/tax relief/"education" credits to the complex as a whole.

arcman210
May 20th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Xanadu postpones its grand opening to summer 2009

Slump may be hurting ability to lure tenants
Friday, May 16, 2008 BY MAURA McDERMOTT
Star-Ledger Staff
The debut of the $2 billion Xa nadu shopping and entertainment center in the Meadowlands has been pushed back until next summer, developers announced yesterday, blaming the complexity of the project.
As recently as last week, builders said the shopping and entertainment project would open in November.
The delay is due to interior construction work required by tenants, developer Larry Siegel said in a prepared statement yesterday.
"Many of our retail and entertainment tenants are creating venues that are the first or largest in the nation or region, and more construction and coordination time will certainly help us fulfill our goals," Siegel said. "The new schedule will allow us to ensure a successful and spectacular grand opening for the 2.3-million-square-foot project."
But, Howard Davidowitz, who runs a national real estate consulting firm, said he believes the slumping retail economy is hurting Xanadu's efforts to attract tenants.
Nationwide, some 7,000 chain stores are expected to close this year, and even retailers that aren't closing locations are scaling back their expansion plans, he said.
"This is a very bad sign," he said of project missing the holiday shopping season. "If you're Xanadu, you've just thrown a tremendous amount of money down the drain."
Xanadu developers insisted yesterday that retailers are still as eager as ever to snap up space.
Along with the delay, Siegel announced new stores had signed on to the project. The sportswear company Adrenalina -- whose store is to include a wave pool -- the Cheesecake Factory and clothing stores Guess and Zara are newly signed tenants.
The vast complex already fea tures an indoor ski slope, skydiving wind tunnels and a massive Legoland Discovery Centre for children.
About 60 percent of the storefront space in Xanadu is leased. That includes about a dozen "anchor" tenants occupying at least 20,000 square feet, such as Cabela's outdoor store, Lucky Strike bowling lounge and Muvico 18-screen cinema, said Lloyd Kaplan, a spokesman for the developer.
The complex aims to have 225 to 250 tenants altogether, Kaplan said.
"You only get one opportunity to open a facility of this magni tude," said Carl Goldberg, chair of the New Jersey Sports and Exposi tion Authority, Xanadu's landlord at the Meadowlands. "You want to come out of the box giving everyone a positive first impression."
He said it was wise to push off the debut until the busy back-to- school shopping season, rather than risk coming in near the end of the holiday season, or opening with interior construction work still under way.
A summer 2009 debut also means the new NJ Transit rail link from Secaucus will be operating, and Xanadu will not compete with the busy football season, Goldberg said.
The delay does not affect the sports authority, since Xanadu has already paid $160 million in upfront rent, he said.
State Senate Majority Leader Richard Codey, a longtime critic of the project, said he was not sur prised to hear of the delay.
"It's just typical for this project," Codey said. "It's just hard to believe that this piece of land, one of the more valuable pieces of land in our country, is having trouble renting."

http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1210912546140140.xml&coll=1

unknown memory
June 24th, 2008, 02:27 AM
I think the new Sheraton Meadowlands website just updated several days ago with this information.



New Jeresy's Meadowlands Xanadu is Sure to be a Hit for Guests at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center

New Jersey's Meadowlands Xanadu sure to be a hit with Guests visiting the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center. Meadowlands Xanadu is the ultimate Sports, Leisure, Family Entertainment and Shopping Complex in the United States and is located across the street from The Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center (www.SheratonMeadowlandsHotel.com (http://www.sheratonmeadowlandshotel.com/)).

East Rutherford, NJ (PRWEB) June 19, 2008 -- Rising at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in Northern New Jersey the Meadowlands Xanadu is a 4.8 million-square-foot Entertainment Destination that will offer visitors of all ages a broad array of engaging experiences, including interactive Entertainment venues, fine Dining, Outdoor Amusements, runway fashion shows and its main attraction--America's first Snow Dome for Indoor Skiing.

The project, based on a similar one in Madrid, Spain, will be divided into 5 areas:

Sports: Sports enthusiasts can watch their favorite NFL pre-game show on a 3 story video wall, and participate in tailgating parties, contests and events featuring favorite athletes. There will also be a Barbecue area and TV Production and Broadcast Studio.




Attractions include:

Snowdome: A 250,000 square-foot (23,000 m²), Indoor Ski Resort that will be open year round. It is the first Indoor Ski Resort in the U.S.
SkyVenture: A state-of-the-art Skydiving Simulator and Vertical Wind Tunnel.
Formula One raceway: An Indoor Race Car facility owned by Formula One.
Bergen Ballpark at the Meadowlands: The Bergen Ballpark at the Meadowlands will be an 8,000-seat Baseball-only stadium housing the Bergen Cliff Hawks.
Bergen River Dogs Stadium: A Lacrosse Stadium that will house the Bergen River Dogs.
Cabela's: A 175,000 square-foot Outdoor Equipment Store including a Mountain Replica with running Waterfalls and Streams, a Trout Pond and trophy animals in re-creations of their distinct habitats, a 40,000-gallon Freshwater Aquarium.Entertainment: An entertainment area will include a ribbon of Giant Digital Screens that will feature Music Videos and Movie Trailers for upcoming releases.
Borders Books and Music.
Entertainment Weekly Center: An area providing the leading source of news, reviews and commentary on the world of entertainment and & pop culture.
House of Blues: The 1,500-seat House of Blues at Meadowlands Xanadu will feature the best in Southern-style Dining and hospitality and an eclectic collection of unique merchandise.
Digital Playground: A new concept store owned by Circuit City that will add the feel of a Consumer Electronics Trade Show to the Meadowlands Xanadu Entertainment district.
Muvico Theaters: As the country's largest theater, the 26-screen, 160,000 square-foot Egyptian-themed Muvico will host film festivals and opening-night premieres.
Lucky Strike: An upscale Bowling Lounge that brings together Bowling and Entertainment. Visitors will Bowl in a contemporary decor with a 1930's/1940's feel while enjoying American cuisine in an upscale Restaurant and Lounge.
Youth Culture: An area called "Youth Culture" will include Children's stores, Interactive Games, and Play Areas.




Attractions include:

Party House: A multi-venue Entertainment Complex that will span 2 levels and feature a Roller Rink, Sports Simulation Arcade, and an 18-Hole Miniature Golf Course.
It's Sugar!: The largest specialty Sweets Store in the world, visitors will travel across a Candy-Themed Bridge over a 30-foot Chocolate Waterfall into a 36,000 square-foot city created out of sweets where they can enjoy a Candy-themed elevated ride and Candy Museum.
Wannado City: This Indoor role-playing Amusement Center is billed as "where kids can do what they wannado."
Food & Home: A food area will include some restaurants and the food court, as well as Interior design stores.




Attractions include:

Balducci's: A Gourmet Food Market with on-premise Dining. Balducci's offers fresh perishable foods and chef-prepared meals, legendary brands, unusual imports, market stalls, tasting stations, pantry and household necessities and a dedication to offering the best tasting foods in the world.
Cooking Studio: An area where visitors can watch world-renowned Chefs duel in competition on a Cooking Studio that will be featured on national TV.
Viking Culinary Arts Center: A state-of-the-art Cooking School, theater-style demonstration area and themed ancillary retail located in the Food & Home District, visitors will be able to celebrate their passion for food by honing their cooking skills in a glass-enclosed teaching school.
Strip House: A sophisticated Restaurant serving modern Steakhouse fare against a sultry backdrop of Red Velvet Banquettes and photographs of 1930's Burlesque Stars.
Summer Shack: A Restaurant that will bring Seafood lovers the casual atmosphere and the fresh Seafood of a classic, rural New England Clam Shack.
Fashion: A fashion area will have most of the malls' stores, designer appearances, and Fashion Shows.




This area includes:

Paris Runway: A uniquely designed Fashion Runway that will be the set for the Fashion Shows.
Elle Pavilion: An exhibition and multimedia space that will create an innovative and accessible approach to the world of fashion, beauty and style. The Elle Pavilion will showcase content from Elle, Elle Girl, and Elle Decor in an interactive setting where visitors can gain a "behind-the-scenes" look at the fashion industry.
Meadowlands Xanadu will be a 'must visit' attraction for residenes and visitors to the New York and New Jersey area. Located just across the street from the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel and Conference Center the Meadowlands Xanadu is also sure to be a hit among the Hotels Guests.

Additional Information about the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center.

Offering amazing views of the New York Skyline, the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center recently completed a $17 million reinvention. Perfectly aligned with Sheraton's brand positioning around "belonging," the a full-service Starbucks® store and the Link @ Sheraton take center stage in the Hotel's completely renovated lobby.

Offering Guests a unique and convenient online experience the Link @Sheraton boasts 6 Internet-enabled workstations complete with free 24/7 Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity as well as PrintMe features.
Designed to function as a "virtual concierge," the Link @ Sheraton Website, available on all lounge and Guest Room computers, provides Guests with current local information such as weather conditions, nearby Restaurants and Attractions, and local driving directions. Guests and Hotel associates can also add their personal favorites and reviews of local Restaurants and Attractions to the Website.

All 427-newly renovated Guest Rooms feature the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, which boasts a multi-layered, lavishly plush custom-designed bed, sumptuous feather down pillows, crisp cotton sheets and a signature blanket and duvet. Other branded offerings include spacious Work Desks with Ergonomic Chairs, walk-in Showers and Coffee and Tea Service.

The Hotel also features the Sheraton brand's signature "Warm Welcome program. Created to provide a memorable arrival, Guests will be greeted by the Sheraton brand's signature "Warm Welcome" program. A personal greeting by a Sheraton Ambassador will make their passage into the Hotel less transactional and more of a true and personal welcome.
The new signature lobby scent "Welcoming Warmth" will also greet Guests as they arrive.

For a delicious meal, Guests can visit The Chairman's Grill and Lounge, a brand new Contemporary-retro themed Restaurant featuring American Cuisine with various regional influences. The menu and decor also play homage to local hero Frank Sinatra and features some of his favorite dishes.

In addition, a full service Starbucks with patio seating has opened as an outlet on the lobby level of the Hotel. The Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel also features 30,000 square-feet of Meeting Space that can accommodate any type of Event, from a Meeting for 2 to a reception for 1,300.

Guests can also take a moment to relax in the new Indoor Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi.

The Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel is owned by the Buccini/Pollin Group, a privately-held, full-service Real Estate acquisition, development and management company with offices in Wilmington, DE, suburban Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City. BPG has developed and acquired Hotels, Office, Multi-family, Townhouse, Industrial, Retail, and Parking properties in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States.

BPG has acquired or developed over $2 billion in assets including six million square feet of office, industrial and retail space in 64 buildings, over 2,500 Hotel Rooms in 16 Hotels, six major residential communities, and 1,200 covered parking spaces. BPG is the largest privately held office landlord in the Philadelphia region.

The Sheraton is managed by PM Hospitality Strategies, Inc.:
PM Hospitality Strategies Inc. is a privately-owned company providing management, development, consulting and accounting expertise for the Hospitality industry. PMHS is an award-winning Hospitality management organization, dedicated to providing leadership within the industry.

Additional information about the company may be found on its Website: www.pmhs.com (http://www.pmhs.com/).

To obtain more information about this Hotel or to book, please visit: www.sheratonmeadowlandshotel.com (http://www.sheratonmeadowlandshotel.com/), or call the Hotel directly at: 201-896-0500.


From emediawire (http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2008/6/emw1031114.htm)

unknown memory
June 24th, 2008, 02:51 AM
^ Actually, that's not the juice article.

I was going through the hotel's blog and came across this. Yeah. This would be more of substance.




"Breaking News"
Release Date: Jun 16 2008


GORDON BILL TO AUTHORIZE AQUARIUM AT XANADU APPROVED IN COMMITTEE


TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Bob Gordon which would remove regulatory stumbling blocks to allow for the construction of an aquarium in the Xanadu complex at the Meadowlands was unanimously approved by the Senate Economic Growth Committee today.


“Allowing the developers of Xanadu to include an aquarium in their planning introduces an educational element to the facility,” said Senator Gordon, D-Bergen. “Aquariums are a fantastic opportunity for both children and adults to come face to face with some of the treasures of our planet’s oceans. A world-class aquarium at the heart of Xanadu would enhance the development’s regional profile and draw in visitors from around the New York City metropolitan area.”


The bill, S-1972, would remove a provision under current law prohibiting the construction of an aquarium at the Meadowlands. Under the bill, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) would be granted authority to enter into any private contracts or legal agreements to facilitate the construction of an aquarium on the Meadowlands site. The NJSEA has already received a proposal for a privately-financed aquarium at the Xanadu retail and entertainment complex, to be built without any public funding by Cumming Corp., the same developer working on the Xanadu project.


Senator Gordon noted that the original exception for an aquarium at the Meadowlands was intended to give the Adventure Aquarium in Camden a level of regional exclusivity, to ensure that the facility would attract visitors to the Camden waterfront. However, Senator Gordon argued that the distance between Camden and the Meadowlands is sufficient to support two facilities, and that the carve-out is contrary to the tenets of healthy competition.


“The Adventure Aquarium is one of the great success stories in New Jersey’s efforts to bring Camden back from the brink of fiscal collapse,” said Senator Gordon. “But I think that the current law prohibiting an aquarium in the Meadowlands is unnecessary, as the Meadowlands aquarium would draw in an entirely different visitor-base. New Jersey is big enough to support two top-notch aquariums, and we want to give the residents of North Jersey a taste of undersea adventure in their own backyard.”


The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.




So,....the full Senate must decide whether to pass this or not. Heh.. Finally though. I've been hoping for this for awhile. No longer do I need to travel to Pt. Pleasant just to see their small aquarium. Something also to do rather than trying to squeeze into my town's crowded AMC theater at GSP. Why did the Tenplex close... Whyyy..

JCMAN320
June 25th, 2008, 11:51 PM
Xanadu design is less than eco-friendly

by Maura McDermott/The Star-Ledger Wednesday June 25, 2008, 9:23 PM

In Syracuse, a megamall under construction will include its own windmills and solar panels. In Denver, an open-air mall runs a filtration plant that recycles rainwater for irrigation. In Savannah, a shopping center has a heat-reflecting roof and parking lots that let rain seep through pavement, reducing runoff.

Across the country, malls are starting to go "green," saving money on energy and water while touting their environmental consciousness.

But when the $2 billion Meadowlands Xanadu shopping and entertainment attraction opens next summer as one of the nation's biggest megamalls, it will have none of those features, according to the developers' plans.

Despite a promise to explore eco-friendly alternatives, Xanadu did not incorporate some of the available technology that could have reduced its environmental impact.

With major construction work close to completion, the complex has no solar panels, nor do its designers have immediate plans to treat and recycle water, despite a state requirement to do so. The roof is a heat-absorbing black, instead of a reflective surface to help lower heating and cooling bills.

The state expects Xanadu's developers to submit a report this month documenting steps they will take to protect the environment, said Elaine Makatura, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The state's agreement with Xanadu's builders requires regular updates on environmentally friendly aspects of the project. The developers have not submitted any of those reports, according to Gary Sondermeyer, the DEP's director of operations.

The project's primary backer is Colony Capital, a private equity firm that took over from the previous developers, the Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty Corp., in 2006.

A Xanadu spokesman, Richard Edmonds, said developers will submit an environmental report by early July "at the latest."

The builders have said they will include as many environmental features as they can in the 2.3-million-square-foot complex with its planned 800-foot indoor ski slope, two skydiving wind tunnels and a wave pool.

The complex will use high-efficiency lighting, heating and cooling systems, according to Dan Haggarty, executive vice president at Meadowlands Development, which is building the complex.

The heavily insulated ski slope will require no more energy than an office building, Haggarty said.

The 300-foot Ferris wheel dubbed the Pepsi Globe will buy its power from a wind turbine farm; construction vehicles are using low-sulfur fuel to minimize air pollution, and landscapers will use native plants, Haggarty said.

Xanadu also will have low-flow toilets and a recycling program, as mandated by state law, and parking spaces will be set aside for hybrid cars.

"We are incorporating a wide variety of energy-efficient and 'green' features explicitly designed for a project of this scale and building type," Haggarty said in a prepared statement. The complex, he said, "will comply or exceed all requirements and standards set for the project."

On a tour of Xanadu in April, Gov. Jon Corzine said he wanted the development to be "as green as possible."

But there's little the state can do to compel Xanadu to include such features as solar panels, despite the Global Warming Response Act signed by Corzine last year. The act calls for a 20 percent cut in the state's greenhouse gases by 2020.

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which owns the land, gave no preference to environmentally friendly design when it chose Xanadu's developers in 2003. The environmental reviews were left to the DEP and the Meadowlands Commission, which oversees development in the region.


SCALED-BACK REQUIREMENT

The DEP and the Meadowlands Commission initially planned to require Xanadu to obtain certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. The LEED program rates buildings for green elements such as energy and water efficiency, recycled materials and indoor air quality.

However, under Gov. James E. McGreevey, the state scaled back that mandate, instead urging Xanadu to use LEED and other environmental standards "to the extent practicable. "

Jeff Tittel, head of the state's Sierra Club chapter, said the enormous complex should do more to decrease its impact on the environment. Doing so would help Xanadu save money or make money, he said.

"The problem with Xanadu is they didn't even try," he said.

The delay in Xanadu's grand opening -- originally scheduled for November -- gives developers time to include more environmental features, Tittel said.

Environmentalists aren't the only ones pushing for green practices in major new projects.

Nearby residents are concerned about the complex's additional traffic and water use, said James Cassella, mayor of East Rutherford, where the Meadowlands complex is located.

"The state should have been on top of this from day one, and they weren't," Cassella said.

Many builders, too, are fans of green programs such as LEED certification, saying environmental features help a facility to stand out from the competition without adding much to construction costs.

The city of Denver required numerous environmental programs at the Northfield Stapleton mall, said Jon Ratner, vice president of sustainability for Forest City Enterprises, the developer.

It turned out the energy-efficient features helped attract retail tenants, he said.

"Once we started to educate ourselves and learn about these things more, we realized they made good business sense," Ratner said.

Northfield Stapleton is one of 33 retail projects in the country to earn LEED certification, and 240 projects are applying, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, which runs the program. The council includes developers, building designers, contractors, nonprofit executives and government officials.

Among the applicants is the Promenade at Lyons in Coconut Creek, a mall rising in southern Florida with a reflective roof, among other features.

The upfront costs of green building are only 1 percent to 3 percent higher than traditional construction if the environmental planning starts early enough, said Dale E. Scott, senior executive vice president at Sikon Construction Corp., which is constructing the center roughly 10 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale.

"The cost savings you get out of using the right lights and the right air conditioning just make sense," Scott said. "Why wouldn't you build that way?"

unknown memory
June 26th, 2008, 11:56 AM
Not done yet. :D Just this article and that should be it.



Xanadu aquarium nears OK
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A bill permitting a large aquarium at Meadowlands Xanadu needs only Governor Corzine's signature before it will become law.

State Sen. Bob Gordon, D-Fair Lawn, sponsored the bill, which passed in the Senate in a 28-7 vote on Monday night. The Assembly approved the bill last week.

Gordon described Xanadu as "a major economic and entertainment engine in northern New Jersey," adding that the aquarium itself would be a valuable educational tool for children.

New Jersey law prohibits a Meadowlands aquarium, giving the formerly state-run Adventure Aquarium a monopoly on such entertainment in the state. But legislators agreed with Gordon's contention that the Xanadu version "would serve an entirely different population."

Corzine spokesman Jim Gardner said the aquarium bill was among many that have just been received by the administration as the summer-long legislative break nears.

"The bill is under a thorough review right now by the counsel's office," Gardner said.
— John Brennan
From The Record

unknown memory
July 8th, 2008, 11:30 AM
Details emerge on proposed Meadowlands Xanadu aquarium

By John Soltes
Editor-in-Chief

EAST RUTHERFORD (July 2, 2008, 10:15 a.m.) — They've already got Jets. They’ve already got Giants. They’ve got horses and Nets and Red Bulls, too.

Now, fish may be coming to the Meadowlands — lots of them.
A bill is currently awaiting approval from Gov. Jon Corzine that would allow an aquarium to be part of the new Meadowlands Xanadu complex, which is scheduled to open in summer 2009.

The bill, which passed both state houses recently, is currently “under thorough review,” according to Gloria Montealegre, a spokesperson for the governor.

The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Robert Gordon (D-38) in the state Senate and Assemblyman Fred Scalera (D-36) and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36) in the state Assembly, calls for New Jersey law to okay the building of an aquarium complex developed by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, within the confines of the Meadowlands complex.

Until now, aquariums were only allowed outside the complex's parameters.
"The company developing Xanadu has been approached by a company that develops large aquariums around the country,” Gordon said. “It would be a great addition to Xanadu, which we want to be more an entertainment complex as opposed to another mall.”

The proposed aquarium, according to Gordon, would be the second largest in the country and would have a target audience of 2.5 million visitors annually.

Gordon said that the visitors would be people already visiting Xanadu in the first place, so he expects there to be no additional traffic. The proposed project would cost $200 million, Gordon added, but it would all come from private financing.

The senator said Texas-based Cumming Corporation, a company that specializes in project management services, would be involved in the aquarium, which would be roughly 200,000 to 250,000 square feet in size with “interesting formats for viewing the creatures.”

The project would take three years to complete, and it would be located within Xanadu and visible from the New Jersey Turnpike, the senator added.

Gordon said the northern part of the state needs an aquarium, and the archaic rule that limits New Jersey to having one such fish attraction — Adventure Aquarium in Camden — is unreasonable and unrealistic. “In the late 1980s, when the Camden aquarium was being planned, there was a concern about competition about an aquarium that might be built in the Meadowlands,” said Gordon, who added that he has not heard anything from the governor’s office on whether he’ll sign the legislation.

Greg Charbeneau, executive director of Camden’s Adventure Aquarium, said in a prepared statement that to his understanding the Meadowlands attraction would be “small” in scope.

But if the proposed aquarium is the second largest of its kind in the United States, the Camden attraction, which is approximately 95 miles away, may have bigger fish to fry.

“Adventure Aquarium pulls approximately 12 percent of its attendance from the New York area,” Charbeneau said. “Attendance erosion from that region would likely decrease our word-of-mouth advertising, which in turn, can decrease the positive economic impact Adventure Aquarium has on the state of New Jersey.”

The original idea for the bill to allow an aquarium was not addressed to Gordon’s office, but that of state Senate President Richard J. Codey. Later in the process, Gordon said he met with officials involved with the project and saw drawings of the proposal.

On June 23, the aquarium measure was approved with 29 “yes” votes in the state Senate, against seven “no” votes and four “not voting” votes. State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) did not vote on the bill, as he was tied up in matters on the state budget, said Chris Eilert, a spokesman for Sarlo.

On June 16, in the state Assembly, 55 voted “yes,” 24 voted “no” and one person abstained.

All of the “no” votes logged in both houses were from Republicans, many of whom serve western and southern New Jersey districts.

The passage in both houses came after the favorable approval of the state Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee and Senate Economic Growth Committee.

Now, the final decision is at the desk of the governor.
The closest aquarium to area residents is the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, Brooklyn (approximately 28 miles away).

From The Leader (http://www.leadernewspapers.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=7589&new_topic=18)

Hopefully, this goes through.

Jim856796
July 10th, 2008, 12:01 AM
Should the Izod Center be redeveloped somehow after the Nets vacate the arena?

JCMAN320
July 10th, 2008, 01:20 AM
I have read that that state officials would like to turn the Izod Center into a giant movie'tv production studio to attract large film making tenants.

NYC4Life
July 10th, 2008, 05:56 AM
There's no need to have the Izod Center as an arena. It's old, obselete, and the only major tenant left are the Nets (for now). It should be demolished and an addition to the Xanadu built on the site.

unknown memory
July 27th, 2008, 06:59 PM
The other news related to the Meadowlands that I found in the past has something to do with the extra housing issue. I can't find that at the moment. It doesn't affect Xanadu in any way but it is still rather important because it is a ridiculous rule.

Onto a more related Xanadu news. My town/county's community college is adding a new campus.



College Opens Meadowlands Campus, Receives $2M Donation

Note to Editors: A 300 DPI Press Image is available at the following URL: http://www.bergen.edu/pr/XanaduCheck300.jpg (http://www.bergen.edu/pr/XanaduCheck300.jpg)

On July 16, 2008 Bergen Community College opened its newest academic facility: Bergen at the Meadowlands, 1280 Wall Street West, Lyndhurst. Hundreds of invited guests attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony including: Gov. Jon Corzine; state, county and local officials; civic leaders; and future students. The College will offer credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing courses, certificate and professional development programs and workforce training at Bergen at the Meadowlands.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” Bergen president Dr. G. Jeremiah Ryan said. “This represents a historic opportunity for the College to reach out and become a non-traditional community college by shifting its focus to become more regional. We hope to be the economic engine for the economy of this region.”

Gov. Corzine has long-supported the Bergen at the Meadowlands plan; he attended and spoke at the November 2006 announcement of the project. He lauded the College’s officials and pledged his continued support.

“This is a partnership, a group effort,” Gov. Corzine said. “One of the most important things we can do is provide and support education for the people in our state. The linchpin to one’s success is providing a college education – and that is what our community colleges are doing.”

The opening of Bergen at the Meadowlands marks the first phase of the College’s presence in the southern part of Bergen County. A permanent Bergen campus, located between the planned Meadowlands Xanadu complex and the future stadium to be occupied by the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets in East Rutherford, is expected to break ground by 2010. The campus should open by 2012.

The current Bergen at the Meadowlands facility encompasses over 14,000 square feet of space in a Lyndhurst office complex. Ten classrooms – including two fully-equipped with high technology capabilities; a state-of-the-art conference room; and a cafeteria highlight the site’s amenities. In addition to non-credit-bearing courses, certificate and professional development programs, which begin July 21, the first slate of credit-bearing courses in sports marketing, allied health and other disciplines begins October 6.

At the opening ceremony, College officials also accepted a $2 million donation from Colony Capital, a private investment firm and the Meadowlands Xanadu project’s primary investor. The donation was presented to President Ryan and Bergen Board of Trustees chair Stephen J. Moses by the Meadowlands Xanadu general manager Gary Hanson.

“I thank Colony Capital for their support and I look forward to our continued collaboration and success,” President Ryan said.

The $2 million contribution will provide $500,000 toward the operation of the Lyndhurst facility and $1.5 million toward the operation of the planned East Rutherford campus. Bergen at the Meadowlands will offer workforce development training for future Meadowlands Xanadu employees in the customer service and retail management fields.

Mr. Hanson said the workforce training aspect of Bergen at the Meadowlands remains particularly important.

“Bergen will be a difference-maker for all of us,” the Meadowlands Xanadu general manager said. “We are thrilled at the prospect of this facility helping to make Xanadu reach our goals of well-trained, well-educated employees. Bergen will ensure that all support staff and management will set new standards in the service industry.”

Joining the College’s main campus in Paramus and the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack, Bergen at the Meadowlands, Lyndhurst, is the institution’s third instructional facility.

Bergen Community College is a public two-year coeducational college, enrolling more than 15,000 students in Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degree programs and certificate programs. More than 10,000 students are enrolled in non-credit, professional courses through the Division of Continuing Education, the Institute for Learning in Retirement, and the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center, located at 355 Main Street, Hackensack. Information about the College is available at http://www.bergen.edu or by phoning the Welcome Center at 201-447-7200.

From Bergen.cc.nj.us

And this is what's in the recent Town News paper that I have to type out for you guys.



*insert image of Corzine holding up scissor and the pink ribbon at BCC.*

Campus moves beyond Paramus
Written by Katie O'Connell
Staff Writer

Gov. Jon Corzine, along with state and Bergen Community College officials, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in celebration of the new Meadowlands campus located at 1280 W. Wall St. in Lyndhurst.

The 14,3690-square-foot school will offer a total of 75 credit and non-credit courses, certification and professional development programs in areas such as the culinary arts, hospitality, sports marketing, interior design and allied health.

With a daily capacity maximum of 500 people, classes are set to commence on Oct. 4.

The Lyndhurst location will serve as a temporary complex until construction is completed at the permanent location on New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority property near Giants Stadium and Xanadu. Construction will break ground in 2010 with a tentative completion year of 2012.

"We are going to be providing local businesses and communities with a supportive network that will offer workforce training and continuing education, relating to services that will enhance business not just in Bergen County but in Hudson, Union, Essex, and Passaic counties - a true regional center of the first class," said Dr. G. Jeremiah Ryan, president of Bergen Community College.

According to reports, Bergen County freeholders have allocated $32 million for the project. Gary Hanson, general manager of Xanadu, presented a $2 million contribution at the ceremony.

Bergen Community College Foundation Chairman Robert Dill also presented a contribution of $10,000 to go toward scholarships for students in need, on behalf of his family.

Stephen J. Moses, chairman of Bergen Community College Board of Trustees, said the idea for a Meadowlands campus was set into motion after Xanadu executives approached the college about training 20,000 employees expected to work at the retail complex.

"We saw that as an opportunity. We thought the county has desperately needed to build a campus in southern Bergen County to provide access for other people in the county who could not, for many reasons, get up to Paramus," said Moses. (Hmm. Or get to Paramus Rd. for that matter, I'd say.)

Moses said the fulfillment of the Meadowlands campus vision could not have been completed without the assistance and persistance of the governor. He said the project was originally curtailed due to more than $1 million cost per acreage.

"[Gov. Corzine] stepped right up and we now have this acreage in the Sports Authority complex for a lot less than $1 to $1.5 million an acre. Because of Gov. Corzine's leadership, his strength and his belief in this project, we have it for the best price of all -- nothing," he said.

Ryan said the project was a collaboration of state, local and county governments, and the Meadowlands corperate community. Offices across the college institution had to work together in a way never required before. Ryan said the collaboration and entrepreneruship exercised during the planning and execution of the project would change and improve the way in which future projects are carried out.

Corzine stressed the importance of investing and taking great strides toward providing opportunity for New Jersey residents. He noted the opening of the Meadowlands location as "an extraordinary step forward" in terms of geographical access for residents in southern Bergen County, the establishment of a curriculum that meets the needs of employers, and the collaboration of many state sectors to accomplish a common goal.

"The more we work together, the more efficient we can be, and the more secure we can be, and the more secure we can be in delivering the services the people of this state expect," said Corzine. "This is a great day. It will be an even more important day for the men and women who walk through the doors of this facility and get the opportunity to experience this American promise."

scrollhectic
August 18th, 2008, 11:55 PM
http://www.globest.com/newspics/nej_xanaduupdate.jpg
Xanadu
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Gov. Jon Corzine has signed a bill, earlier approved by both houses of the legislature, to permit an aquarium to be built at the under-construction, $2-billion Meadowlands Xanadu (http://www.globest.com/news/670_670/retail/157813-1.html) retail and entertainment complex here. The site is on state-owned property within the Meadowlands Sports Complex, operated by the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, a state agency.


The state-owned aquarium carries an estimated price tag of $200 million, and with a four-million-gallon capacity would be one of the largest in the country. Further details of the project, including who would operate it, have not been released.

Construction of the facility required legislative and executive approval in order to override an existing state law barring an aquarium at the Sports Complex, instituted as a means of preventing competition with the Adventure Aquarium, also state-owned, in Camden. The latter is approximately 100 miles south of the Meadowlands site, however. Opening day for the two-million-sf Meadowlands Xanadu, meanwhile, has been pushed back. Originally scheduled to open in November, the new target date is mid-summer 2009. If all goes as planned, the aquarium would also open in the summer of 2009.

unknown memory
August 20th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Once again, I have to type this all out.

This is from this past Saturday in "The Record".



Private ties to Xanadu

Bailout benefited Corzine aide

By Jeff Pillets and John Reitmeyer - Trenton Bureau

Governor Corzine's handpicked chief of economic development helped direct a $1.5 billion bailout of Xanadu while owning stock in a company poised to lose more than a billion dollars if the Meadowlands project failed.

Gary D. Rose, who also promoted major deals in Atlantic City and the state's burgeoning biotech sector, appears to have had a financial stake at both ends of the Xanadu deal.

Corzine on Thursday revealed that he also had close ties to private firm behind Xanadu after signing a bill that could bring the nation's second largest aquarium, an economic incentive for the Meadowlands project and its massive combination of shops and entertainment venues.

State records show that Rose held stock and mutual funds in Goldman Sachs throughout his two-year stint as Corzine's top economic development official. Rose stepped down in June.

Goldman, the Manhattan-based investment bank where both Rose and Corzine were partners, had loaned Xanadu developer Mills Corp. more than $1.1 billion, and investors feared the money could be lost as Mills veered near bankruptcy in 2006.

Rose, under Corzine's direction, helped arrange for new investors to save Xanadu - and Goldman Sachs' stake in the developer. Those new investors included Dune Real Estate, a hedge fund that also had financial ties to Rose; state records filed in March 2006 show Rose had an "equity interest" in Dune.

On Thursday, the governor disclosed that he consulted an ethics advisory panel regarding his deep ties to Dune CEO Daniel Neidich, another former Goldman partner whose company is now linked to the fate of the sprawling Xanadu project. Corzine after signing the bill to suppor the massive aquarium at Xanadu, said the ethics panel had cleared him to support his former colleagues' project.

The $200 million aquarium, its supporters say, will be the second largest in the nation and drive patrons to Xanadu's 4.8 million square feet of retail stores, amusement rides and other diversions.

Rose did not respond to detailed phone messages left Friday.

Corzine spokeswoman Deborah Howlett called questions about possible conflict of interest in the bailout and redevelopment "ridiculous".

"If Gary Rose had stock in Pepsi, would it mean we'd have to remove all the soda machines from the State House?" Howlett said.

Howlett said she was uncertain if Corzine himself was aware of Rose's private financial stake in the Xanadu bailout, saying she would not have enough information to answer detailed questions about Rose until next week.

But she stressed that Corzine, who has divested all of his Goldman stock, has no personal financial stake in the Xanadu project and pointed out that his administration has toughened ethical standards across the board.

"You wouldn't even know about Gary Rose's holdings if we didn't disclose them," Howlett siad.

Corzine's public stance toward the controversial Xanadu project has softened. Initially, the governor had expressed some skepticism for a project that would transform public land into a privately held mega-mall.

By mid-2006, however, with the Mills Corp. reeling from an accounting scandal and the project faltering, Corzine said he was "deeply troubled" and directed Rose to prop up the venture. Rose was "deeply involved" in the negotiations that brought Nediich and other suitors to the Meadowlands, Corzine said at the time.

Since the bailout, Corzine has been a strong supporter of the new laws and public spending that will benefit Xanadu. In addition to the aquarium, Corzine's administration approved millions in new spending for a Meadowlands Xanadu rail station.

The governor has supported efforts to bring affordable housing near the project and build a country college campus near the site wehre Xanadu workers can be trained. Corzine also signed a bill making it easier for Xanadu restaurants to get liquor licenses.

Corzine's relationship with Neidich, whom he called "one of my closest friends," drew criticsim this year after the state awared a $2 million contract to New York University's Child Study Center. Both Neidich and his wife, Brooke Garber Neidich, are on the board for the center. The couple have also donated $173,000 to New Jersey Democrats since Corzine entered elective politics in 2000.

Corzine maintained he played no role in the awarding of the daycare contract, but the center withdrew fromt he dela in May, saying it wanted to eliminate any distractions.

Ethics experts say Corzine's recent actions, including his tardy disclosure of his Neidich connections and murky, undocumented dealings with a state ethics panel, are troubling.

Judy Nadler, a senior fellow of Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, said Corzine should have acknowledged his potential conflcts well before signing legislation - not after he has signed a bill into law.

Nadler siad having a written record of Corzine's dealings with the ethics panel would help to answer any public concerns.

"That kind of transparency is far better than the disclosure as the pen touches the paper," she said.

Second one related between Rte 17 and the Meadowlands area.



Cure for Rte. 17 floods

Work begins on long-delayed $4.5M project

By Scott Fallon - Staff Writer

Workers have begun to fix tide gates in the Meadowlands as part of a much-anticipated project that promises to ease flooding on Route 17 in Rutherford.

The highway, which closes an average of 12 times a year because of floods will also see a dozen culverts installed to allow storm water to drain into nearby marshes.

The broken gates act as dams, allowing water to collect in several key spots.

The $4.5 million project was supposed to begin in fall 2006, but it was delayed when the commission's partner, the Army Corps of Engineers, missed several deadlines.

It was set back again last year when bids came in millions of dollars higher than expected. The project was then scaled down.

The first phase includes the removal of five broken tide gates and 10 damaged culverts. They will be replaced with 10 tide gates and 12 culverts. The work should be completed by the end of the year, said Nick Agnoli, the commission's chief engineer.

On Thursday, a construction crew was excavating truckloads of soil in East Rutherford to make way for 6-foot-wide pipes to take tidal water from Berry's Creek into a drainage ditch. Tide gates on the six new pipes at the East Rutherford site will help monitor wave flow.

"We spend a lot of time planning flood projects, so it's finally good to see one being completed, " Agnoli said.

In the second phase of the project, two drainage ditches near Route 17 will be cleared of dirt, debris and vegetation to allow storm water to drain from the highway and local roads into Berry's Creek.

That project had been blocked by the Department of Environmental Protection because the agency considered the 1.5-mile ditches to be protected wetlands. It would have forced the Meadowlands Commission ot spend $2.25 million to mitigate 15 acres of wetlands for disturbing the ditches in Rutherford and East Rutherford.

But in May, the DEP essentially removed its objection by crediting the commission for buying and preserving the 90-acre Meadowlark Marsh in Ridgefield in 2003.

The work will be done by the Bergen County Mosquito Control Division. Commission officials said using county workers would save $1 million.

The project's final phase will feature three drainage pipes installed on the lowest-lying portions of Route 17 by the sate Department of Transportation this year. It will cost $375,000.

unknown memory
August 20th, 2008, 05:01 PM
Just came across this.



Xanadu developers to consider minor league stadium
by Maura McDermott (mmcdermott@starledger.com)/The Star-Ledger Tuesday August 19, 2008, 3:46 PM


The developers of the Meadowlands Xanadu shopping and entertainment center have agreed to consider building a minor-league baseball stadium on the site, according to the man who hopes to create the team that would play there.

Steve Kalafer, who aims to establish the Bergen Cliff Hawks team, said he and the developers of the $2 billion Xanadu complex signed an agreement Monday to study the feasibility of building a stadium.

The study will determine how much the 6,000-seat stadium would cost and how much income it would likely earn from naming rights, sponsorships and other sources, said Kalafer, who already owns the Somerset Patriots minor-league team. Earlier estimates pegged the cost at $20 million, but Kalafer said rising steel and concrete prices might push the cost higher.

In exchange for the study, Kalafer said he has promised to drop his lawsuit against Xanadu's former developers, the Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. Kalafer accused Mills and Mack-Cali of backing out of a handshake deal to build the stadium. In March, Kalafer appealed a Superior Court judge's ruling against him.

The current developers -- Colony Capital, Dune Capital Management and KanAm -- took over in 2006, after Mills came close to declaring bankruptcy.

Xanadu is expected to open next summer at the Meadowlands Sports Complex with hundreds of stores and restaurants, an 800-foot ski slope and skydiving wind tunnels, as well as a 300-foot Ferris wheel.
I thought they agreed to this a long time ago. .... Oh well. *shrugs*

NYatKNIGHT
August 21st, 2008, 03:03 PM
^800 foot ski slope? It doesn't look THAT tall.

unknown memory
August 21st, 2008, 03:37 PM
^ Nope, it doesn't look that tall indeed. Actual stats is that it's 780 feet tall.

Some news from app.com:



Corzine says friendship didn't influence Xanadu bill

By LISA G. RYAN • GANNETT STATE BUREAU • August 20, 2008

TRENTON — Gov. Jon S. Corzine insisted Tuesday that his close friendship with one of the investors in Xanadu, a huge sports and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands, didn't influence legislation signed last week to allow a multi-million-dollar aquarium to be built there.

The relationship with Daniel Neidich, co-chair of Dune Capital Management Fund LP, has dogged Corzine since he disclosed it last week upon signing a bill to permit a proposed $200 million aquarium at Xanadu. Neidich was a former partner at Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street investment bank where Corzine used to work.

Corzine said as soon as he learned Dune Capital was investing in the Xanadu project to save it from bankruptcy, he immediately got rid of his financial interest in Neidich's company.

"It's a pretty clear statement that I didn't want a conflict," Corzine told reporters, adding that people who have worked in the financial field often overlap on the projects.

At Corzine's request, his Advisory Ethics Panel, a two-person group made up of former state Attorney General John Farmer Jr. and former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel O'Hern, said there was no conflict of interest, but didn't issue a report.

"I've tried to be very clear about this, you know, getting it out," Corzine said of the disclosure.

Asked about the competency of the two-man panel, Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy said the governor believes a former state Supreme Court justice and former state attorney general are a fair gauge for government ethics.

The Record of Bergen County last week reported that Corzine's former economic development chief, Gary Rose, formerly of Goldman Sachs, held stock in Goldman Sachs and an equity interest in Dune Capital. Each firm invested in Xanadu while Rose played a key role in helping the project's developer avoid bankruptcy.

Corzine has said he wasn't aware of Rose's financial interests.
"The governor doesn't have the time to go through everyone's financial disclosure forms," Darcy said.

Rose, like Corzine, got rid of his financial interest in Dune Capital in October 2006, Darcy said. He noted Rose still has stock in Goldman Sachs. Corzine sold his Goldman stock during the gubernatorial campaign.

NYatKNIGHT
August 21st, 2008, 03:50 PM
I think it's about 200'+.

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery2/d/139442-2/IMG_4586.jpg

http://www.railfanwindow.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=139442

spatulashack
August 21st, 2008, 04:07 PM
It's probably nearly 800 feet LONG, not tall.

NYatKNIGHT
August 21st, 2008, 04:44 PM
Eventually, I was thinking that's probably what they meant too. So is the 300' ferris wheel its circumference or height? :p We don't know.

unknown memory
August 22nd, 2008, 03:23 AM
It's probably nearly 800 feet LONG, not tall.
Yep, you got it. It's 780 feet long. The height definitely looks 200 ft + high.

As for that ferris wheel, it should be 287 ft in height. (Which is nothing compared to all of its Asian cousins that are 300-400 feet high.)

The article's estimation was close but a bit misleading in its words.

millertime83
August 27th, 2008, 12:49 PM
^800 foot ski slope? It doesn't look THAT tall.


It's only about 140 feet tall. It's about 800 feet long.

Ninjahedge
August 27th, 2008, 01:50 PM
I was gonna say, the parking garage is probably, at MAX, only 14 feet floor to floor. Figure 9-12 stories there still only yeilds 130ft-190ft tall!

No matter how tall it is, it is a colossal waste and inefficient use of land and materials. FILL IN THAT SPACE BELOW! An air-conditioned mall/office will take less to cool down from than a NJ summer.

And noone is going to really bother coming out in winter when there is so much of this calibur (only 150 or so vertical feet) to be found pretty close by....


Also, you would THINK they would paint a ski slope something more, I dunno, more WINTER-LIKE! Something like Blue and White? this looks like an Arizonan theme for a Chucky Cheese training facility!

lofter1
August 27th, 2008, 07:12 PM
That slope could be a big hit with youngsters + snow boards -- Ma & Pa drop them off for a few hours of somewhat supervised play. Folks get a break, kids go wild. Everybody wins.

unknown memory
August 27th, 2008, 08:06 PM
Also, you would THINK they would paint a ski slope something more, I dunno, more WINTER-LIKE! Something like Blue and White? this looks like an Arizonan theme for a Chucky Cheese training facility!
So, you want it to look like this one? (Which isn't actually blue/white but shiny metallic..)

http://www.snoasisconcern.com/cms_admin/secure/pub_images/70.jpg

Or maybe this one which is metallic/blue...

http://www.metsec.co.uk/images/purlin/chill.jpg

I think the most unattractive looking ski slope exterior, that I've seen so far, would be the one in New Zealand.

Ninjahedge
September 3rd, 2008, 02:32 PM
The chill factor looks MUCH better. The style on it feels like it is moving, you have open space under it and it does not look like it is being held up by trusswork scaffolding!

The silver tube looks like a gigantic Airstream trailer after an accident. Bleh.

Still better than what we have, but Bleh none-the-less.

I wonder what keeps them from constructing under it though? I know you could have leakage problems, but you would deliberately frame a story of dead-space in between to allow easy access and repair/replacement of anything you need. You already have the steel there you need to put something up, even if it were parking! :confused:

Ninjahedge
September 3rd, 2008, 02:35 PM
That slope could be a big hit with youngsters + snow boards -- Ma & Pa drop them off for a few hours of somewhat supervised play. Folks get a break, kids go wild. Everybody wins.

You have not been to that area, have you Loft.....


I guess that was the motivation for Xanadu though, another mall in an area that only had smaller strip malls...

As for dropping the kids off, it all depends on the $$. This looks like it will be more of a novelty than a regular attendance place. There will not be too many close by that could probably afford a luxury like summer skiing on a regular basis....

unknown memory
September 3rd, 2008, 07:51 PM
I wonder what keeps them from constructing under it though? I know you could have leakage problems, but you would deliberately frame a story of dead-space in between to allow easy access and repair/replacement of anything you need. You already have the steel there you need to put something up, even if it were parking! :confused:
They probably just wanted the slope effect by putting nothing underneath it except for its holder. Therefore, that dead space is what most of them will have.

Which is probably why, I felt the New Zealand slope was awkward. Unlike all of its other cousins, it wasn't made to potrude into the air and was placed on a grassy hill side. To me, it looked simply like a wet box slugged on a hill. Semi-natural setting but really random. I understand why they put it that way because NZ is kind of known for its hills (enough to have people roll down them in big plastic balls).

Anyways, the Xanadu slope and its controversial exterior are the least of the things in my mind. I'm looking forward to that IMAX theatre, MagiQuest, and aquarium. Now, if only they were smart enough to make an indoor water park and not just the flowrider. It baffles me why they thought of one and not the other.

Ninjahedge
September 5th, 2008, 12:48 PM
$$.

Also, come on, this was supposed to be a mall with some attractions, not Great Adventure New Brunswick! ;)

unknown memory
September 5th, 2008, 08:45 PM
^ It's not surprising really when NJ is filled with malls already. I'm not concerned that much about the "retail" part of the complex because I live in a giant mall town. Their intention is to make the place a hybrid center and a tourist spot that's not meant to overshadow all the malls in my town.

I would definitely drive 14 minutes to that entertainment complex not for more shopping. I'd go there for any of the non-shopping things that are more convenient to get to without having to drive an hour using up more gas. A new place to go with friends and family besides the usual "shopping mall". (Garden State Plaza is pretty boring for a local.)

And of course, everything cost money. You don't expect things to be free in this world except for everything that's in nature.

unknown memory
September 11th, 2008, 01:12 AM
More politic - government ramble. Blegh.


Lawmakers press Corzine on Xanadu bailout
Wednesday, September 3, 2008

BY JEFF PILLETS
TRENTON BUREAU

Leading Republican lawmakers pressed Governor Corzine today for details on his administration’s private interest in Xanadu, the massive Meadowlands venture plucked from bankruptcy in 2006 following Corzine’s intercession.

The Republicans, in a pointed letter to the governor, said the administration has failed to allay concerns that the Xanadu bailout personally benefited Corzine’s former top economic adviser, former Goldman Sachs partner Gary D. Rose.

Both Rose and Corzine held a stake in Dune Capital when the private hedge fund emerged among a consortium of investors seeking to buy out Xanadu’s original owner, the Mills Corp. State documents show that Rose at the time also had substantial holdings in Goldman Sachs, which stood to lose more than $1 billion it had loaned the ailing Mills.

“That Mr. Rose … was the architect of the bailout of Mills by a group that included Dune gives us pause,” said the letter, co-signed by Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. “It … creates the appearance of a potential conflict of interest.”
Rose declined to comment and referred questions to the governor. Corzine’s office downplayed Rose’s role in the Xanadu bailout and said he had divested all Dune holdings weeks before the rescue package was finalized in November 2006.

Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy said Rose had no role in bringing Dune to the Meadowlands and was not involved in the crucial negotiations involving Xanadu’s finances. Rose, he said, divested his Dune holdings as soon as he learned that the fund was investing in the project. He declined to release records on the divestiture.

Asked why Rose, unlike Corzine, never sold his substantial holdings in Xanadu-backer Goldman Sachs, Darcy said there was “no requirement” for such a divestiture.

“The contention in the letter from Republican leadership that we have not answered these questions is just inaccurate,” Darcy said. “There was no potential conflict in Gary Rose’s financial-disclosure forms because he was not involved in bringing Dune to the table.”

Darcy suggested that Rose had little if no role meeting with the Xanadu’s private investors or their attorneys, saying Rose just mediated the concerns of local agencies and the Meadowlands pro-sports tenants, including the Jets and Giants. Darcy declined to detail those concerns or provide any records of Rose’s meetings and correspondence regarding Xanadu.

Darcy’s comments differ from accounts of Rose’s involvement offered earlier this year by Corzine himself, who has boasted that his former Goldman Sachs colleague was “deeply involved” in rescuing Xanadu. In several interviews with The Record, Corzine claimed Rose was leading the state’s effort to find new investors.

The governor also said he had directed Rose to repeat his success with Xanadu by finding possible investors for another Meadowlands project, the EnCap landfill-to-links venture which is now in bankruptcy despite months of personal lobbying by Rose. Earlier this year, Rose met personally with Donald Trump in an attempt to hammer out a new development deal.
Kean, DeCroce and other Corzine critics say the administration has not lived up to the ethical standards Corzine proclaimed when he came to office in January of 2006. They point out that one of Corzine’s first official actions, the issuance of Executive Order No 1, was touted by the administration as “far reaching reform” designed to guarantee “that government business in conducted in the public’s interest and not for personal gain.”

The administration points out that Rose’s holding would not even be publicly known if it were not for the governor’s new ethical standards. It was Corzine himself who last month disclosed a 25-year friendship with Dune founder Daniel Neidich, but only after signing a bill that would bring a $200-million aquarium to the publicly-owned Xanadu site.

And this next article doesn't actually have anything to do with the Xanadu center but what might end up across from Xanadu. There seems to be mixed feelings with this so-called "affordable housing". Some people hate it in fear of having bad people move into the area and also, because it's going to be built in a contaminated area. The Xanadu Commission oppose this affordable housing also. Then, there's the other side who find this as a good chance to move into something well...affordable and close to NYC. Just reading the article's comments on nj.com pretty much sum up their reactions and feelings.

I never liked this plan from the beginning when I first read it in The Record. I agree with the nj.com's site's user, Destroyerman. This affordable housing is just ridiculous. No town should be forced to go through something like this just so the greedy developer gets the money and gives very little respect towards the community. The Meadowlands Commission better find a stronger way to overule the judge's approval. They're powerful but I can't believe they lost to a judge. Community power >>>>> Judicial system any day!



Judge approves plan for 20-story residential towers in Meadowlands
by Maura McDermott (mmcDermott@starledger.com)/The Star-Ledger Friday August 29, 2008, 1:26 PM

A state appeals court today ruled in favor of plans to build two 20-story residential towers on the banks of the Hackensack River, despite years of opposition by two Bergen County towns.

The decision upholds a lower court's judgment and paves the way for the 840-unit development to rise in Carlstadt and East Rutherford, on Paterson Plank Road.
The towns have spent years fighting the towers, saying they were too far from schools, ball fields and libraries. The Meadowland Commission, which regulates zoning in the area, also opposed the project, saying the 27-acre site was unsuitable for housing.

The property is near the New Jersey Turnpike, across from the $2 billion Xanadu shopping and entertainment center. The plans called for 38,000 square feet of commercial space, 700 market-rate units and 140 rental apartments priced for low- or moderate-income residents.

After years of wrangling over the project, the developer, Tomu Development Company, sued the two towns and the commission in 2003. It charged they were not living up to their obligations to provide affordable housing.

Superior Count Judge Jonathan Harris' ruled for the developer in 2005, accusing the commission of "benign neglect of the housing needs of the poor."

In 2006, Harris suspended the local officials' land-use powers, calling them "recalcitrant" in providing affordable housing.

The judge also appointed an independent monitor to create an affordable housing plan for the towns. The monitor would represent the towns in development applications before the commission.

The Meadowlands Commission appealed the ruling.

In today's unsigned decision, the judges said putting a monitor in charge of the towns' housing plans is "an inspired and appropriate exercise of the court's judicial powers."
"Inspired and appropriate"? Give me a break... That's "uninspired and unappropriate".

ASchwarz
September 11th, 2008, 06:16 PM
Great news with the new towers. Hopefully the first of many in the area.

E. Rutherford and Carlstadt could use the density and improvements.

unknown memory
September 12th, 2008, 07:08 PM
This just came in today.


Premier Rides to build Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel at Meadowlands Xanadu

Posted Today, 3:40P | Contributed by Jeff
[Ed. note: The following is an unedited press release. -J]

BALTIMORE, MD - PREMIER RIDES, INC., considered one of the world’s most innovative theme park ride providers, has been awarded the contract to design, fabricate, and install the iconic Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel to be located at the spectacular Meadowlands Xanadu entertainment and retail complex in East Rutherford, NJ. The iconic wheel will be leased and operated by Merlin Entertainments Group, the world’s second biggest visitor attraction operator, who also has The London Eye in their portfolio of over 60 attractions.

“We at Premier Rides are extremely honored to have been selected to design and build such a visionary attraction that the Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel represents,” said Jim Seay, President, Premier Rides, Inc. “Being part of the group that creates a signature product is both an honor and a significant responsibility. Merlin Entertainments Group and Meadowlands Development are leaders in the development of high quality experienced based visitor attractions, entertainment and retail centers and we are proud to be part of their team.”

The electricity used to power the Pepsi Globe, the tallest and most spectacular wheel in the Americas at 286 feet, will be 100% offset with renewable energy certificates. In addition, the aluminum used for the ferris wheel sign and many of its components will be made with 95% recycled content.

Merlin Entertainments Group which is rapidly building its US business, with 5 new attractions to open in the next 12 months, will offer a unique experience during the Pepsi Globe ride, which will last approximately 25 minutes for a full revolution and offer sweeping vistas of the New York skyline and the Hudson River. Groups of up to 20 visitors each will enter 26 glass-enclosed, climate controlled, capsules for the ride of a lifetime.

The Pepsi Globe promises to be among the most outstanding tourist attractions in the New York City metropolitan region.

Premier Rides is currently designing, fabricating, and installing five to six major attractions every year both on a domestic basis and at international locations such as Dubai and Singapore. “The Pepsi Globe at Meadowlands Xanadu is a signature project and one of the most important in Premier’s history. As a company that focuses on unique custom attractions, we strongly believe in the Xanadu business model and believe there is amazing potential for iconic type attractions like the Pepsi Globe,” Mr. Seay said.

Source: Coasterbuzz.com (http://coasterbuzz.com/news/10460/premier-rides-to-build-pepsi-globe-observation-wheel-at-meadowlands-xanadu.aspx)
This better be spectacular enough to be almost as good as Wildwood's LED ferris wheel (which is up there with any giant Asian ferris wheel lighting; impressive). I like a tall ferris wheel but I'm not keen on a logo ferris wheel. They either will blend the logo into the wheel's lighting and it will change colors within the Pepsi's logo pattern... Or, stick the logo at the spoke and leave the rest of the wheel's room to a much more desired color changing pattern rather than the logo itself.

Ninjahedge
September 17th, 2008, 08:58 AM
Affordable housing always sounds good, but there is a small fraction of residents in those developments that ruin it for everyone.

Example: Englewood.

We have to find some way where low income is blended with other strata, not all clumped and concentrated into a generic 20 story brick tower.

JCMAN320
September 17th, 2008, 10:09 PM
Victory in court for Xanadu project

by The Associated Press Wednesday September 17, 2008, 2:47 PM

The delayed Xanadu project at the Meadowlands sports complex wins one in court. A state appellate panel today denied claims by environmental groups and a losing bidder that the state failed to properly review the environmental impact of the project when it issued approvals.

The lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and Hartz Mountain Industries claimed there was inadequate study of issues such as traffic, air quality and stormwater management.

The $2 billion retail, entertainment and sports complex was scheduled to open this fall. But developers said in May it won't open until next summer.

Xanadu is to feature a 200-foot-high indoor snow dome, movie complex, concert space and an upscale martini lounge and bowling alley.

Ninjahedge
September 18th, 2008, 11:14 AM
You know, I respect Sierra and some of these other people, but the thing that annoys the HELL out of me is when the result ends up with a 75% complete structure just sitting there costing money.



I know traffic is going to be hell, and runoff from a Mall??!? Good bye groundwater purity folks (not that there was much). But to have it stopped now....


Sheesh.


I think we need Palin in here to spend lots more state money to get it through the courts. Worked for her as mayor!!! >wark<

GordonGecko
September 18th, 2008, 12:30 PM
^ That's the Brooklyn Aquarium that you base your observation on. (When it comes to some attractions in NYC, you don't expect the same quality that you'd find elsewhere. Which is why, Astroland isn't that appealing either.) Have you been to other aquariums though? I've been to the one in Boston several years ago, and they maintain it very well. Don't think the visitors in Boston lose much interest when going to the aquarium.

I can say from experience that aquariums, if done properly, can be a sight to behold. I'm speaking about the Monteray aquarium in cali and the aquarium in Maui. The one in Chicago is also pretty nice

unknown memory
September 18th, 2008, 03:15 PM
^ Yeah. If done right. In Brooklyn's case, it seems to be ok but telling by reviews, it's the type where it gives that "is that all there is to see?" feeling. Like, the potential is there but hasn't really been touched much on. Plus, the non-well maintained tanks. I'm pretty sure, in the coming years, someone will turn the aquarium into one where it can be close to the quality that other aquariums, across the country, have been doing for years.


Affordable housing always sounds good, but there is a small fraction of residents in those developments that ruin it for everyone.
Affordable housing can be nice for a lot of people but in this case... From what can be gathered from the news... It seems that majority of the residents in that town do not like it. If the affordable housing was placed somewhere else in the area, I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be this kind of issue.

Ninjahedge
September 19th, 2008, 08:48 AM
UM, how would that be so?

I am not sure any residents of any stable, successful community like the idea of "affordable housing" (projects) anywhere near them. So what is left? Bad neighbohoods?

Tehy seem to think that these projects have to be plunked down as seperate entities in neighborhoods rather than finding some way to blend them a bit.

It makes it hard to say that someone is living on "the wrong side of the tracks" when there are no tracks.

unknown memory
September 21st, 2008, 02:48 AM
UM, how would that be so?

I am not sure any residents of any stable, successful community like the idea of "affordable housing" (projects) anywhere near them. So what is left? Bad neighbohoods?

Tehy seem to think that these projects have to be plunked down as seperate entities in neighborhoods rather than finding some way to blend them a bit.

It makes it hard to say that someone is living on "the wrong side of the tracks" when there are no tracks.
True. And sorry if my previous post makes it sound like having affordable housing is "really" good. What I mean is...

From my impression of the news article, there seems to be residents out there who would support this kind of thing. I won't be surprised if some of them are the ones who complained that the residential complex is too far from "baseball fields, libraries, schools, etc.." Then, in comes the other reasons of opposing the towers to be built because it is forced upon them.
Combine the two complaints together and you get the major opposition.

unknown memory
September 26th, 2008, 03:13 AM
This one is from potlickernj.com.



It wasn't me, it was my brother, Paul

By Wally Edge (http://www.politickernj.com/user/wallye)
Category: Local (http://www.politickernj.com/category/local)Tags: JEFF PILLETS (http://www.politickernj.com/category/jeff-pillets), CARL GOLDBERG (http://www.politickernj.com/tags/carl-goldberg)

This is a bad week for Jeff Pillets, the Pulitzer Prize nominated investigative reporter for The Record. On Monday, PolitickerNJ.com reported that Pillets faces allegations that he removed state documents from the Department of Environmental Protection -- a charge Pillets disputes, saying he took the public records by accident. Now, the Chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority says that Pillets' story on Xanadu was "egregiously flawed." The Record says said that was an accident, blaming it on "an editing error."

The text of Carl Goldberg's letter to The Record:

I am writing in response to what we at the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority can only term an article on the Record’s front page “Xanadu project could soak taxpayers.”

The reporter Jeff Pillets interviewed me, as well as our primary NJSEA spokesperson John Samerjan, for a considerable length of time. During both those interviews we repeatedly pointed to the facts to date that the Meadowlands Xanadu project is privately funded, has been privately funded, and that there is no avenue in either the Redevelopment Agreement between the NJSEA and Xanadu nor the aquarium legislation for that to change. None of those remarks found their way into the article.

In fact there is no aquarium plan that has presented to the NJSEA, there is to date only enabling legislation.

It is further suggested by inference not quotation that I support potential public infrastructure investment for the development of an aquarium. I will reiterate to you that along with my fellow Board members, who broadly support the concept of an aquarium at Xanadu as a further fulfillment of the family attraction and entertainment component of the project, in no way have we wavered from our position that the project will be fully privately financed and private capital will be at risk.

We have had a good and open relationship with The Record including some frank and cordial exchanges at Editorial Board meetings over the look and development direction of Xanadu. That is of course fair game and we are more than willing to take our share of criticism for any decisions we make. But is it not fair in our view to expect us to be willing to accept a story that so misrepresents the history and financial facts of the project, our past, current and future position on public funding , and the seeming presupposition that something is in the works.

I appreciate you taking the time to hear us out on this story. It is an unusual step for me to be taking in writing, but we could not let this story stand without comment.
The text of The Record's correction:

"Because of an editing error, a story titled 'Xanadu project could soak taxpayers' in Tuesday's editions inaccurately indicated that all $300 million in public financing for the Encap golf project was guaranteed by public entities in New Jersey. The sentence should have read: 'The state also could lose more than $50 million from $300 million in public financing awarded to the nearby EnCap Golf project, which recently filed for bankruptcy.'"


And this one is from northjersey.com added just one hour ago.



New bill targets funding for aquarium

Friday, September 26, 2008
BY JOHN REITMEYER
TRENTON BUREAU

A state legislator from Sussex County is renewing an effort to keep taxpayer funds out of a private company's plan to build an aquarium at the Xanadu mall and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands.

State Sen. Steve Oroho, a member of the Senate's budget committee, tried earlier this year to amend a bill authorizing the proposed $200 million aquarium to prevent public money from going to support the project, but his effort failed in committee and before the full Senate.

Oroho, R-Sussex, said Thursday that he will make another attempt when the Senate reconvenes early next month, citing a story published Tuesday in The Record that outlined how the state has had to prop up the aquarium in Camden with $25 million.

The story also described numerous public investments in infrastructure at and near the Meadowlands, as well as other needs, such as water pipes and utilities, that have yet to be addressed by the aquarium developers at this stage.

Oroho said his new bill asks that "no funds from any other public entity, including but not limited to the state of New Jersey, shall be used for the financing of the construction, ownership or operation of such aquarium."
He said private equity, not the taxpayers, should fund water pipes and other infrastructure needs that will directly support the aquarium.

New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Chairman Carl Goldberg said this week that there are no plans to use public money for the aquarium project.

There is "no way to support public funding" in the agreement to develop the area, Goldberg said.

State agencies and authorities have used public money to make roadway and infrastructure improvements in the area.

E-mail: reitmeyer@northjersey.com

unknown memory
October 1st, 2008, 02:31 AM
From paramuspost.com


Henry H. Kessler Foundation Awards $500,000 Grant to Bergen

By Mel Fabrikant (http://www.paramuspost.com/users.php?mode=profile&uid=18)
Monday, September 29 2008, 04:02 PM EDT
Views: 95

The Henry H. Kessler Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to Bergen Community College and its partners to establish a Regional Center for Disability Employment. The Center aims to: increase the number of people with disabilities who secure employment, retain jobs and advance their careers; and increase the number of private and public sector employers that derive the economic and competitive benefits from employing people with disabilities.

The Center will be housed at the College’s Bergen at the Meadowlands academic facility in Lyndhurst. The Center will be relocated to the permanent Bergen at the Meadowlands campus in East Rutherford near the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Complex once the campus is constructed (expected opening 2012).

“This is an important grant for Bergen Community College,” President Dr. G. Jeremiah Ryan said. “We have a strong commitment to people with disabilities, as evidenced by our 2,500 students with special needs currently attending programs at the College. This grant will increase the College’s ability to serve our communities – including by providing local businesses with skilled employees. Obtaining this grant was a group effort by many at the College and throughout the region – I thank all of them for their efforts.”

As a single point of contact for people with disabilities, officials believe the Center will serve four constituencies: out-of-school youth and adults who are unemployed; incumbent workers who are underemployed or seeking career advancement; young people transitioning out of school into jobs, training and further education; and in-school youth working their way through pathways to careers and independent living.

The Center’s students will receive specialized training, guidance and education from the College’s staff at Bergen at the Meadowlands.

The Center will also act as a resource for local employers, who are expected to use the Center to obtain employees.

For example, throughout the past year, College officials have worked with Meadowlands Xanadu personnel in order to create a partnership between the two entities – particularly given Bergen at the Meadowlands’ eventual proximity to the retail and entertainment destination. As Xanadu is estimated to employ 20,000 workers, College officials believe the Center can supply people with disabilities training and education, while Xanadu can provide employment, creating a pipeline for personal and economic growth.

“If we can increase employment and career opportunities for people with disabilities and engage businesses to utilize the talents of people with disabilities, we have succeeded,” President Ryan said.

Grant funding will begin October 1, 2008 and carry through September 30, 2010. The College and other partners will fund the balance of the Center’s $1 million start-up cost and two-year operating budget. Officials believe a two-year period will enable the Center to become entrenched within the region. After the grant’s expiration, officials expect private and partner support will help keep the Center solvent.

Key partners in the project include: Colony Capital (Meadowlands Xanadu), Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, Bergen County Technical Schools and Special Services School District, Hire Disability Solutions, LLC, the Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers of Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic Counties; Bergen County Division on Disability Services, Hudson Community Enterprises, State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Partnership for Community Health, Inc. and the Northern New Jersey Disabilities Network, and Palisades Learning Center, Inc.

Bergen Community College is a public two-year coeducational college, enrolling more than 15,000 students in Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degree programs and certificate programs. More than 10,000 students are enrolled in non-credit, professional courses through the Division of Continuing Education, the Institute for Learning in Retirement, the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center, located at 355 Main Street, Hackensack, and Bergen at the Meadowlands, located at 1280 Wall Street West, Lyndhurst. Information about the College is available at www.bergen.edu or by phoning the Welcome Center at (201) 447-7200.

unknown memory
October 4th, 2008, 02:46 PM
From nj.com.



Aquarium deal seems a bit wet

Thursday, October 02, 2008

In August, Gov. Jon Corzine signed a bill approving a proposed aquarium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, another venture at the other dubious project, the $2 billion Xanadu mega-mall, that is expected to open in the summer.

Considering the credit crisis in the nation and efforts to bail out Wall Street, the governor should pledge no state bailout if this Trenton-backed watery project runs into a dry spell.

New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority officials say the aquarium will be the second-largest in the country and would benefit the state-run sports complex, helping to make it "a world-class family destination." The largest fish tank is the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

The sports authority people may feel this way since two of the state's professional sports teams, the NHL Devils and NBA Nets, have run from or are about to leave the sports complex and because developers of the giant mall decided not to come through with a proposed minor league baseball stadium.

The need for another attraction at Xanadu was strong enough to force state legislators to repeal a law that had banned such an enterprise in the Meadowlands in a move designed to protect the New Jersey State Aquarium in Camden.

Opened in 1992, the Camden aquarium now attracts about 1 million annual visitors. It stopped receiving state subsidies in 2005 when it became a for-profit facility.

In approving the Xanadu aquarium, state officials now argue that the law was not needed because it is a two-hour drive from the Meadowlands to Camden. Guess no one thought of that when the ban was implemented.

There may be another reason, according to Assemblyman Rick Merkt, who has said Corzine's friendship with Daniel Neidich - co-chief executive of Dune Capital Management, one of the financial institutions funding Xanadu - poses a potential conflict of interest. Corzine and Neidich worked together when Corzine was chief executive of Goldman Sachs.

Corzine informed the Governor's Advisory Ethics Panel of their relationship, and the two-member panel determined there was no conflict of interest, according to the Governor's Office.

It stills smells a bit fishy. There should be no state bailout should the aquarium sink.

unknown memory
October 7th, 2008, 04:32 PM
From Leader Newspaper a couple of minutes ago.



NJMC lends a helping buck (Score: )
by alexis on Tuesday, October 07 @ 14:20:43 MDT


By Alexis Tarrazi
Senior Reporter

LYNDHURST (Oct. 9, 2008) — The purse strings of local municipalities have grown tighter with the recent state budgetary cuts, making it more difficult for towns to plan for the future and enhance their communities. To lend a helping hand, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission will award $1.7 million to its 14 member towns.

“Through its Municipal Assistance Program (MAP) and other funding initiatives, the NJMC has made a positive impact on the lives of thousands of residents and business owners,” stated Joseph Doria, chairman of the NJMC and commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. “We are proud to provide these resources to help communities do more, without burdening their taxpayers.”

MAP grant

Funded by the NJMC’s Meadowlands Area Grants for Natural Economic Transformation (MAGNET) program, MAP grants have been in existence since 2003.

“The NJMC created the MAP program as a way to help district municipalities fund worthwhile projects that benefit their residents without any cost to taxpayers,” NJMC spokesman Brian Aberback stated in an e-mail.

At its Oct. 2 meeting, the NJMC allocated $100,000 to each town for the coming year. In order to receive the funding, municipalities must apply by Dec. 5.

Typically, municipalities have used the funding for the purchase of new police vehicles, fire trucks and ambulances; public works trucks and equipment; and park and community beautification projects.

Last year, Aberback noted North Arlington applied its funding toward an ambulance, and Rutherford applied its funding toward a police vehicle and park development.

Downtown revitalization grant

Colorfully paneled in orange, green and blue, the enormous Meadowlands Xanadu project is gearing up for a debut in summer 2009. As part of a negotiation with the commission, Xanadu has agreed to award grant money to surrounding Meadowlands municipalities to help enhance their downtown areas.

“The NJMC worked hard to ensure that local municipalities were provided with resources to maintain and further develop downtown business districts, which play such a vital role in the community,” stated Robert Ceberio, NJMC executive director. “A vibrant downtown brings in tax revenue, contributes to a town’s identity and is a source of pride. We are delighted to award this funding.”

This year, $310,000 was awarded, which will be divvied up among the 14 towns. Thus, all the towns will receive $26,300, except North Bergen, which received $22,000, and Secaucus, which received $25,000, according to Aberback.

Carlstadt will use the money to purchase recycling containers, banners and benches for Hackensack Street. Lyndhurst will use it for curb and sidewalk programs on Delafield Avenue. Rutherford has a marketing plan for the downtown commercial district, including the creation of a Web site.

East Rutherford will improve Park Avenue’s parking facility, while North Arlington will use the money toward its streetscape project along Ridge Road.

Reimbursements for the projects will be paid after the municipalities submit the bills for their proposed projects.

Xanadu is scheduled to award grant money for two more years, with a total of $500,000 expected in 2009.

unknown memory
October 10th, 2008, 02:54 PM
One news bit I haven't gotten to until now from northjersey.com. Sierra Club vs. DEP.



Activists challenge Xanadu ruling
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
BY JOHN BRENNAN
STAFF WRITER, HERALD NEWS

The Sierra Club moved forward Tuesday on a pair of Xanadu-related court cases, continuing a four-year battle over state permits issued for the sprawling Meadowlands project.

In a brief, attorneys for the state chapter of the environmental group asked an appellate panel to reconsider part of a Sept. 17 decision upholding 2004 state approvals allowing 8 acres of wetlands to be included within the Xanadu development site.

The Sierra Club has maintained for years that the state Department of Environmental Protection illegally issued those permits.
State regulations usually bar development on wetlands unless the proposed project is "water-dependent." DEP officials concluded that the Xanadu entertainment and retail plan does not fit that criterion, and also deemed the affected wetlands a "waterway."

Sierra Club attorney Edward Lloyd argued that based on those two conclusions, the permits should not have been issued.

In 2007, Xanadu attorneys argued that the wetlands stretch known as Cedar Creek does not qualify as a waterway because it was not capable of supporting any water-dependent uses.

The Sierra Club pointed out that even though the DEP issued the permits, it has never changed its stance that the creek should be considered a waterway.

In its recent ruling, the Appellate Division — saying the case was one of "public importance" — made its own determination that the creek does not qualify as a waterway.

Lloyd maintains the court overstepped its bounds by ignoring the DEP's decision.

"Instead of relying on DEP as a source of information for the interpretation of its own regulations, the Court impermissibly substituted its own interpretation for that of the agency," Lloyd wrote.

The Sierra Club is also disputing another recent state appellate court finding that its challenge to the Xanadu permitting is more appropriately taken up with the project's landlord, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, than with the DEP and the state Meadowlands Commission.

unknown memory
October 14th, 2008, 02:27 PM
From nj.com. It also talks a bit about Atlantic City, but nothing new, of course.



Credit squeeze freezes pending projects

by John P. Martin (jmartin@starledger.com)/The Star-Ledger

Sunday October 12, 2008, 9:03 AM


About three weeks ago, Colin Driver, the economic development director in Somerville, heard some bleak news from the builder of the borough's biggest project in years, a downtown complex with 320 apartments, stores and offices.

"He said: Look, I can't get money -- it's as simple as that," Driver recalled.
So officials in the Somerset County town are now working on a financial plan to help the builder, Jack Morris, break ground, even if it means scaling back the $100 million project or rolling it out in phases.

"It's far better to work with him to get something to enhance Main Street," said Driver. "Everyone is in the same boat: New construction in the state has come to a halt. The banks are really running scared now."
The ideological divide between Main Street and Wall Street might make for good campaign rhetoric. But as many New Jersey towns and municipalities can attest, the two are inextricably entwined.

The credit crisis and last week's stock market swoon has paralyzed some projects, postponed others and kept finance and development officials wondering when, how or if they will weather the storm.

"Everything seems to be in flux, from the federal level down to the state and municipal level -- and that's making folks nervous," said William Dressel Jr., the executive director of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, which represents more than 500 local governments statewide.

In interviews with officials and developers across the state, few were willing to declare projects dead or dying, but all agreed that the ripples from the economic downturn might soon be hard to miss.

"I'll tell you right now that my sense is that everyone -- private, public -- everyone's being a little more cautious," said Maggie Peters, executive director of the Morris County Economic Development Corporation. "People are not going to take on the projects that they thought they might."

In Montgomery Township, Somerset County, for instance, officials saw their decade-long plan to redevelop the 257-acre site of a former mental hospital skid to a halt last month. The problem: None of their chosen builders submitted a proposal.

In Newark, a plan by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to build a $200 million residential high-rise across the street from the venue remains intact. But Jeffrey Norman, a spokesman for the arts center, was reluctant to discuss a timetable.

"We hope to be the first in line when the market rebounds with a project that is ready for investment," Norman said.

In Roseland, real estate agent Marie Kennedy saw the impact firsthand last week.

Kennedy said she represented a client who signed a letter of intent to relocate and expand his high-end retail business in Morris County. The client, whom she declined to identify, planned to spend $2 million to renovate the building, plus increase his inventory and add staff, she said.
But after Monday's stock market plunge, he got nervous. On Tuesday, he pulled out of the deal. Gone with him were the jobs, the construction work, her commission.

"He said, 'I really need to wait until after the election,'" said Kennedy, who serves as the executive director of the Economic Development Association of New Jersey, a group that represents public officials, utilities, and private companies like investment houses and builders.

The news is not all bleak. The developer for Xanadu, the sprawling retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands, said that project remained on schedule to open as planned next summer.

"Unlike many other retail and entertainment developments, Meadowlands Xanadu secured adequate private capital in 2006, prior to the current market fluctuations," said Larry Siegel.

And late last week, Atlantic City officials announced plans to solicit bids for the long planned redevelopment of Bader Field, a project that could be worth more than $1 billion.

But across the country, recent headlines suggest a similar building slowdown: Casinos in Pittsburgh and Detroit, a shopping center in Kansas, bridges in Missouri and a sewage treatment plant expansion in Georgia. All on hold.

The crisis has effectively frozen the credit markets, starting a sell-off that last week crippled stocks and sent investors scurrying to safety. With banks reluctant to lend, local governments have struggled to find buyers for their short-term debt, and companies can't get the cash they need to complete or expand their projects.

"There have been municipalities and authorities gone to market to issue bond notes and they've not received any bids," said L. Mason Neely, the finance director in East Brunswick Township.

Late last week, the Corzine administration was preparing its own plan to help New Jersey municipalities sell their notes, after one bond advisor reported that school boards and towns statewide have struggled to sell $200 million worth of debt.

Details of that plan are expected to be released this week.

Still to be seen is how the downturn affects the already weakened real estate market.

Tim Touhey, executive vice president of the New Jersey Builders Association, said new building permits in the past six months are 15 percent below last year's pace -- and nearly half what they were in the same span two years ago, he said.

Because the state didn't see the same spike in real estate prices as some, it is "more primed than other markets" to benefit from a turnaround, Touhey said. But he believes that turnaround might not arrive until sometime next year.

"There's going to be more pain in this before there's gain," he said.

Staff writers Peggy McGlone, Maura McDermott and Nyier Abdou contributed to this report.

unknown memory
October 15th, 2008, 10:59 AM
From wwd.com.



The Developer Squeeze

Posted by Sharon Edelson- Senior Editor, Specialty Retail (including Real Estate)
at 4:11PM EST, October 14, 2008

Donald Trump for years has been the poster child for the confident developer. The Donald may be more bombastic and boastful than most, but he shares with other developers a high tolerance for risk and the audacity to believe his multibillion-dollar projects will succeed. But developers and real estate executives don't seem so self-assured these days. With the global economy in free fall, their world decidedly changed from one of plenty -- available capital, myriad retail concepts, willing partners -- to one of scarcity. "The deals we hear about are dying," said a Manhattan-based retail broker. "My clients' sales are off. They don't want to go forward with anything now."

Gap, Talbots, Ann Taylor, J.C. Penney and Zale's are among the chains curtailing expansion or downsizing. Steve & Barry's, Boscov's, Goody's and Mervyns have sought bankruptcy protection. Meanwhile, Bombay Co., with 360 stores, released its entire real estate portfolio into the market. More bankruptcies are expected.

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, retailers announced closings of 5,770 locations so far in 2008, a 25 percent increase from the amount in 2007. This glut of retail real estate will add more than 16 million square feet of space to the market, creating a perfect storm that might have a lasting effect on the industry. New retail concepts may not be able to find financing. Developers and landlords are no longer searching for the most interesting tenant or the store that would best complement the existing assortment. They're looking for any brand that's creditworthy.

Yet most developers are forging ahead, albeit on a delayed timetable, with plans for new projects.

"We're going to make sure every project has all the components that will ensure its success," Webber Hudson, executive vice president of Related Urban Development told me. Hudson said phase one of CityNorth in Phoenix is on schedule, but phase two will be delayed to 2010 from 2009.

Related isn't taking anything for granted. "We want to make sure we're not caught off guard in January or February when [the other] shoe drops," said Hudson. "There's going to be something. We have on our wall a listing of the leases we've had signed, but I've got names below each one of those retailers in case there's a problem."

The Grand, a $3 billion, 3.6- million-square-foot development in downtown Los Angeles, has also been delayed. "The retail community is hoping for a 2010 opening," said Hudson. Previously very self-confident, Hudson sounded equivocal. "That could change for reasons beyond our control," he said. "I need to be able to sign two or three critical deals that will give us credibility in the credit markets. Being able to say we've got square footage signed to these retailer [anchors such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's and Macy's West,] has helped us in Phoenix."

Lon Rubackin, a former Forest City Ratner executive who recently became managing partner of GFI Retail Group, which buys distressed shopping centers, is developing three hotels, including two in Manhattan, and building a 1-million-square-foot mixed-use project in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. "Things are changing so quickly," Rubackin said. "Wherever you are in this kind of cycle, as a developer, you're getting squeezed."

Meadowlands Xanadu, the $2 billion, 4.8-million-square-foot retail and entertainment complex in New Jersey, delayed its opening to summer 2009, from November 2008. Real estate experts believe the delays were prompted by the economy and Xanadu's inability to lease a portion of its space. To make matters worse, tenants with signed leases may be using the delay as an opportunity to drop out of the project. This scenario is likely playing out at projects across the country.

Even high-end centers are no longer immune. "Up until very recently, everybody thought that the very wealthy wouldn't be affected," Rubackin said. "That ain't the case. Luxury isn't really needed these days. The Palazzo was slow in getting off the ground and numbers are still very disappointing. Since May, certain people have backed out and others aren't moving ahead."



From southbergenite.com.



Case ends in Xanadu?s favor

(by Michael Lamendola - October 15, 2008)

Groups: state didn’t follow environmental procedures

An appeals court panel has ruled that the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) followed the proper procedures when formulating consultation reports, reviewing and amending reports and issuing environmental permits for the over two million square foot Meadowlands Xanadu project at the sports complex. By state law, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) must present sports complex projects to both the DEP and the NJMC, which is the regulatory land use authority in the region.

The case stems from a suit brought forward on behalf of Hartz Mountain, which lost the bid to redevelop the site adjacent to the IZOD Center and a consortium of environmental advocacy groups, including the New Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club and the New Jersey Environmental Federation. The appeal also charged that the original developer of Xanadu, the now defunct Mills Corp. was deficient in providing proper studies on traffic impacts and environmental impacts prior to its approval.

The court found that although the DEP and NJMC’s process of reviewing environmental statements, considering public comment and applying expertise to render an opinion and recommendations on Xanadu were with reasonable rationale, the process by which the project was allowed to move forward was up to debate. Xanadu was allowed to move forward in 2004 under the condition that environmental monitoring reports and other studies, such as traffic impacts reports, were to be submitted during the course of construction.

"Their approach has obviously resulted in this appeal and is open to debate, but it is not arbitrary or capricious and, therefore, given our standard of review, it is not in error," wrote the court panel.

NJMC Executive Director Robert Ceberio said the court only affirmed that all the regulatory processes that were needed were properly adhered to.

"We are pleased the decision upholds the process the State of New Jersey used to select a developer at the site," said Ceberio. "The NJMC is charged with several critical missions, including protecting the Meadowlands District environment while promoting reasonable development, and it is rewarding to see an outside review conclude that we have struck a reasonable balance with these important objectives."

The Hearing Officer’s Report, for one, initially required that Xanadu developers obtain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The requirement was later downgraded to a recommendation by former DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell due to the complexity of the project and the U.S. Green Council’s absence of a complete LEED checklist for such an intricate project.

Earlier this year, however, it was revealed that only minor sustainable construction aspects were implemented into the project. Xanadu Executive Vice President of Development Dan Haggarty told the [I]South Bergenite on a tour of the building that energy efficient lighting and indigenous landscaping would be incorporated. In addition, the snow dome would be heavily insulated to retain cold temperatures year-round and the proposed Ferris wheel would be run on wind energy from a Texas-based farm.

According to Brian Aberback, a spokesman for the NJMC, the commission still remains committed to the recommendations laid out in the Hearing Officer’s report and is awaiting a sustainable report from the Xanadu development team.

"The NJMC is committed to promoting sustainable building practices and we made our preferences clear to Xanadu developers," said Aberback. "We are now awaiting a report from the developers on the energy-saving aspects of this project."

Jeff Tittel, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said the group may bring its appeal to the Supreme Court. He said the mission now is to push further supervision over future projects at the sports complex and that all submissions and subsequent public comment are reviewed and approved prior to construction. He also said that an appeal to the Supreme Court could lead to Xanadu having to adhere to recommendations set forth in the 2004 Hearing Officer’s Report, that consisted of Ceberio and DEP Director of Operations Gary Sondermeyer as presiding officers. The report made recommendations and requirements to Xanadu on elements of construction from land use to green building.

"Even though we didn’t stop the project, we feel the court agreed with us that there were serious problems with both the permitting and the environmental reviews for this site," said Tittel. "We would rather have a real victory than a moral victory, but at least it keeps the door open for further action."

Tittel said a new addition to the Xanadu project, approved this summer by Governor Jon Corzine as an ancillary add-on to the project, would need to follow more environmental scrutiny than what was given to the current Xanadu project prior to its approval. The add-on, an indoor aquarium, still has not been formally proposed to the NJSEA, but questions such as water usage and the energy that will be needed to pump the water and circulate it through the aquarium all remain on environmental advocates’ minds.

"Now that an aquarium is being proposed that will add 200,000 additional square feet to the project, cause more traffic, use more water and energy and actually change the development site, we believe that the Environmental Impact Statement and 5X report have to be reopened, and we will be pursuing that," said Tittel.

Aberback could not comment on what environmental standards the NJMC would hold the developers to when a proposal for the aquarium is submitted.

"Since we don’t have any details on this project, we can’t stipulate on what might or might not be part of any potential findings on any proposal," he said.



From hometownglenburnie.com a.k.a Maryland Gazette.




The wheel deal
By MARC SHAPIRO Staff Writer


Premier Rides, a Millersville amusement rides and attractions company, will build a 286-foot Ferris wheel at an expansive entertainment and retail complex in New Jersey. It's the biggest contract in the company's 13-year history.


The Pepsi Globe Observation Wheel will be the largest Ferris wheel in North and South America when it opens at the Meadowlands Xanadu complex in East Rutherford, N.J. The world's tallest wheel, at 541 feet, is in Singapore.


"It'll be a really stunning icon for the New York metropolitan area," said Jim Seay, president and owner of Premier Rides. "You'll be able to see it clearly from Manhattan for those people around the Hudson River."


Its 26 cabins, each of which will be able to hold 20 people, will be completely enclosed and have heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units in them.


The wheel will feature one of the world's largest logos on a 150-foot LED screen, which will be displaying the Pepsi Globe logo.


"We had been looking for an opportunity to secure an iconic presence in New York and once we had seen plans for Xanadu we knew we had to get involved," said Nicole Bradley, spokesman for Pepsi-Cola North America.


"You're not going to be able to miss the globe when you're driving by Xanadu."


Pepsi entered a 10-year partnership with Xanadu.


The wheel will be 100 percent offset with renewable energy certificates. When a company buys the certificates, the money goes back to firms that make electricity from renewable sources, such as wind or solar.


Also the aluminum that will be used to make the wheel sign and many of its components is made with 95 percent recycled content.


"We're proud of the fact that this wheel represents an effort on our part to demonstrate how you can have, in our industry, design and fabrication efforts focus on the green effort," Mr. Seay said.


He would not disclose how much the contract was for, but said that a typical premiere attraction for the company is between $10 and $20 million and this is significantly larger.


The Meadowlands Xanadu complex, which features 2.3 million square feet of entertainment and retail attractions including gourmet restaurants, America's first indoor ski dome, movie theaters and a concert and live theater venue, will open next summer. The Ferris wheel will open at that time.


"The facility is designed to be the most entertaining shopping experience in the world," Mr. Seay said.


Consumers can also go skydiving in big vertical tubes powered by columns of air and other shoppers can watch the skydiving, Mr. Seay said. There also are plans for world class aquarium and Lego facilities, he said.


At this time, the concrete foundations for the wheel are being constructed, Mr. Seay said. After the winter, it will take about three months to install the wheel.


The wheel was designed at the company's Millersville headquarters, home to the company's administration and design teams of about 40 employees. Its fabrication facilities are in the west, mainly in the Salt Lake City area. The company has additional U.S., European and Asian offices.


The company designs, builds and installs, five to six major attractions every year in the United States and abroad. The Joker's Jinx ride at Six Flags America in Prince George's County, the Italian Job Turbo Coaster at King's Dominion in Virginia and the Revenge of the Mummy ride at Universal Studios in Florida, were all made by Premier Rides.


"We like to focus on what we call signature attractions and certainly the wheel represents very much an iconic signature attraction," Mr. Seay said.


mshapiro@mdgazette.com

Just hope Premiere doesn't mess this one up. If they left the LED display on just the logo, that would be pretty dull. LED wheels are known for changing patterns which are prettier that way.

millertime83
January 16th, 2009, 02:16 PM
Construction of the Meadowlands Rail Station (http://meadowblog.typepad.com/lum/2009/01/construction-started-last-week-on-the-meadowlands-rail-stationa-new-rail-station-at-the-meadowlands-sports-complex-the-s.html) has officially begun.

Scruffy88
February 14th, 2009, 11:46 PM
That article of the ferris wheel was 3 months ago. Anyone know if the construction is visible yet?

millertime83
March 23rd, 2009, 01:39 PM
http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/new_jersey/090319_Xanadu_Opening_Delayed_to_2010

Meadowlands Xanadu -- the mega mall, entertainment and sports complex under construction in East Rutherford-- is not going to open in August as planned, or in November, reports Fox 5's Barbara Nevis Taylor (watch her video report, left).

Looks like a spring 2010 opening is more realistic, says New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Chairman Carl Goldberg. He said the slow economy and slumping retail market are causing the delays. Apparently, tenants aren't rushing to build their stores. Many are attempting to renegotiate leases. One major tenant -- Cabela's, a giant sporting goods store -- has put off opening until 2010. Cabela's is slotted to take up 8 percent of the square footage in the entire complex.

Colony Capital, a private equity firm, is Xanadu's developer and primary investor. Executives there have declined to talk about the project or its finances.

Officials at Xanadu and its developer won't confirm the delay. An official announcement should come in the next two weeks, sources said.

Merry
January 25th, 2010, 10:34 PM
Possible Second Life for Stalled Xanadu Project? Consider Trip to ‘Jersey Shore’

By PETER APPLEBOME

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/01/25/nyregion/25towns01/articleLarge.jpg
The long-delayed, multibillion-dollar Xanadu Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.

There’s a new governor, Christopher J. Christie, who took office on Tuesday, but otherwise the news from New Jersey last week had that familiar ring.

Guy Catrillo, a former Jersey City Council candidate who took $15,000 in bribes, received 18 months in prison in the first sentencing to grow out of the largest public corruption sting in state history. Leonard Kaiser, a longtime North Arlington mayor and a former freeholder and member of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion charges on Thursday in connection with campaign funds converted to personal use.

The reality show “Jersey Shore” finished a triumphant season of redefining contemporary courtship etiquette. (Thus saith “The Situation”: “I necessarily didn’t want to bring home any sort of zoo creatures whatsoever. These broads just smelled the food at the house.”)

And just when it seemed ready to recede into the New Jersey Turnpike permanent landscape, the Meadowlands Xanadu (http://www.visitxanadu.com/) project resurfaced as the state’s other misbegotten reality show. First the chief executive of the sporting goods-outdoors megastore Cabela’s, the project’s anchor tenant and an indispensable attraction, said it was unlikely ever to open a store there. And on Friday, a report prepared by the Christie administration’s transition team said that Xanadu “appears to be a failed business model” and that New Jersey needs to tell the owners to “open or surrender the property.”

It concluded: “There is no leasing plan making material on-site progress.

The physical activities of construction are at a standstill, if not abandonment. The construction loan is out of balance. There are no monies readily available to finish construction of public areas or tenant improvements. Most, if not all, of announced major tenants have an ‘escape clause’ solely dependent on leasing — or lack thereof.”

Officials with the project say its business model is sound and it has been delayed because two of its lenders went bankrupt.

Mr. Christie has been a critic of the stalled $2 billion project. But with a new administration, there will almost certainly be new attention to what can be done to forestall what could be perhaps the worst retail failure ever.

Well, O.K., everybody’s a critic now. It might have seemed peachy back in the McGreevey era to contemplate a multibillion-dollar shopping and entertainment center with a 16-story indoor Snow Park, 286-foot-tall Pepsi Globe Ferris wheel, a simulated sky-diving contraption, a MagiQuest virtual-reality game and the rest. But no one — at least no one not smoking however much opium it took for the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge to envision the original Xanadu (http://www.bartelby.com/101/550.html) — would propose one now.

So what to do? The options are not attractive: hunker down and hope the project makes more sense in a year or two (or four or five), have the state sue the developers to take back the property, find a really rich new developer or knock it down and forget it. And there’s certain to be consideration of alternative uses. One already circulating on a hypothetical level (and certain to face gargantuan hurdles) is to consider allowing existing Atlantic City casino operators to make it a casino, in an effort to keep some North Jersey gambling dollars out of New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Yes, there are already too many casinos, but there aren’t that many appropriate uses for something that looks like the world’s biggest air vent covered in Play Doh. Still, there must be other thoughts out there.
So, capitalizing on the state’s most conspicuous success over the past year, here’s mine — “Jersey Shore” Meadowlands: The Mall and Fitness Experience.

Turn the indoor ski slope into surfing waves, retrofit the place for housing that can be turned into share houses (year round!), put in a boardwalk to give the retail that “Jersey Shore” je ne sais quoi. The Situation, one of the show’s savants, has said he’d like to open his own fitness studio. Well, here it is: Make it the world’s biggest gym, tanning salon and academic research center into abs enhancement and state-of-the-art hair gel technology.

Is it a certain winner? Nothing is. But you take a white elephant that’s dead in the water and replace it with one perfectly aligned with the all-important youth demographic, with instant brand identification, an international audience of millions and potential for unlimited old-fashioned, interpersonal interactivity: Martial arts classes! Duck phone kiosks! Mass fist-pumping celebrations!

It’s true the “Jersey Shore” phenomenon could have a short half-life, but it beats Xanadu’s current no life. If you have a better idea of what to do with the site, please let me know.

Otherwise, we await bold new leadership. “We have the tools for a brighter future, if we change direction,” Mr. Christie said at his inauguration last week. Exactly. Sir, your new road to Xanadu starts here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/nyregion/25towns.html?adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1264424577-qRT44svMAZ60taNwAIVZ8A

newarkdevil1
March 6th, 2010, 12:27 PM
But the place looks like an enormous parking complex and not much more. I still think they should re-approach xanado and get rid of the NJSEA, sell these assest to private companies to run.

MidtownGuy
March 7th, 2010, 05:45 PM
Maybe if they had actually made it attractive, people would be attracted to go there. Instead what I'm seeing is a blight on the landscape. Is it too much to ask for, that the outside should look at least half decent?

newarkdevil1
March 7th, 2010, 09:18 PM
Problem is that no matter how you cut it, it's a gigantic mall in a county that already has tons of them in a retail leasing environment that is compressing. Like many other things, this pushed through and it will be the taxpayers bailing them out.

futurecity
June 3rd, 2010, 01:03 PM
http://www.northjersey.com/realestate/news_commercial/95483194_Xanadu_now_just__Meadowlands_.html

Xanadu rebranding and facade change

lofter1
June 3rd, 2010, 01:58 PM
The re-made Meadowlands website: Construction Progress (http://visitmeadowlands.com/construction/)

futurecity
June 3rd, 2010, 02:51 PM
This could turn out OK if the facade is changed. However, I think they went the wrong way here (the developers that is). I mean, they could have made a smart-growth urban village with pedestrian lanes and squares (with the necessary multi-story parking lots I presume) instead of another mall. Also, the mall is done on the cheap.

An urban village type development would have been great with the stadium so close. I can imagine beer gardens, etc after the games. Actually, now that I mention it, perhaps there is still room for another development like this as well. The meadowlands is poorly planned overall... Needs more of a sense of place. Sorry to say that tailgating is a stupid tradition, no need for that IMO. People should get to the game by train, not SUV. Only in American would people prefer to sit on stinky hot asphalt and eat charred food rather than go to a nice pub or cafe pre-game. Really, some traditions are just not worth keeping.

GordonGecko
June 3rd, 2010, 03:06 PM
This could turn out OK if the facade is changed. However, I think they went the wrong way here (the developers that is). I mean, they could have made a smart-growth urban village with pedestrian lanes and squares (with the necessary multi-story parking lots I presume) instead of another mall. Also, the mall is done on the cheap.

An urban village type development would have been great with the stadium so close. I can imagine beer gardens, etc after the games. Actually, now that I mention it, perhaps there is still room for another development like this as well. The meadowlands is poorly planned overall... Needs more of a sense of place. Agree, that would have been much better


Sorry to say that tailgating is a stupid tradition, no need for that IMO. People should get to the game by train, not SUV. Only in American would people prefer to sit on stinky hot asphalt and eat charred food rather than go to a nice pub or cafe pre-game. Really, some traditions are just not worth keeping.Wow, just wow.

I have to assume you're some sort of snooty Eurotrash. Where do you get off knocking BBQ tradition, which is a FUNDAMENTAL identity to American culture. The grill is the best way to cook meats and is one of the most enjoyable parts of summer and most every holiday tradition. Tailgating means hanigng out with your buddies, drinking & eating the food you want without paying a King's ransom. I'm guessing you've never been at a tailgate before, yeah, that's what I thought

futurecity
June 3rd, 2010, 03:10 PM
I'm not a eurotrash (an offensive term BTW which renders you to be a complete and utter idiot), but I prefer the way they do things over there because it doesn't involve a dirty fuel-sucking car. I've nothing against grilling, just don't like the tradition of sitting in a parking lot which encourages driving to the game rather than transit, and massive ugly stretches of asphalt that lie vacant most of the year. Is it a crime or something to hate this tradition my euro hating friend?

I'll say it again -- there's not reason why this bonding, cooking and grilling your own food can't take place in a beer garden or park type setting, and not in an ugly parking lot... the tradition is neanderthal-like, and I'll stand by my opinion...the attatchment to cars and parking lots have ruined this country so I have come to detest car culture.

I'll bet you have never been to a european cafe, grilling park, BYOB garden or pub before WALKING to the stadium/arena/, etc.? Some people actually care about the earth. BooYa sucker! It is done everywhere around the world, it has nothing to do with snooty Europeans... try telling a Mexicano, Seoulite or Carioca that they are snooty europeans...you'll get a fist in your face. Nor would I try telling that to a hearty working-class Berliner on his way to the U-Bahn after enjoying a sausage and beer. Snooty, hahaha, nah!

lofter1
June 3rd, 2010, 04:35 PM
... there's not reason why this bonding, cooking and grilling your own food can't take place in a beer garden or park type setting, and not in an ugly parking lot... the tradition is neanderthal-like, and I'll stand by my opinion...


Then the "neanderthals" (of course, you're not judgmental or an idiot) would have to pay a small fortune to buy food the way somebody else cooks it.

NYatKNIGHT
June 3rd, 2010, 04:38 PM
Glad we won't be hearing any of those ^^ lectures at the next tailgate.

futurecity
June 3rd, 2010, 04:55 PM
I didn't expect my view of this passtime to be accepted around here, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one folks. Tailgating encourages massive parking lots, and hence traffic. Thus this leads to new stadiums being planned around massive parking lots and transit is often not emphasized at all. I feel cooking food could be done in a park or beer-garden area without the actual tail-gate being involved at all... don't really care if you think I'm an idiot, but I think some traditions are unhealthy and need to be changed for the good of our society. It also makes the stadium area ugly as sin, with miles of asphalt everywhere. I think the car loving aspect of American society has destroyed this country, and I'm sticking to it. Anybody who has travelled overseas will see what I mean. Why stick to an old tradition when you can create a healthier better version of it? Traditionalists are living in the past.

lofter1
June 3rd, 2010, 05:33 PM
Which came first? The Tailgating or the Parking Lots?

Look around the country. How many stadiums are served by adequate mass transit to move 50,000 to 100,000 spectators to the venue in a reasonable amount of time? And when those stadiums are used a minimal number of days per year is it the best use of taxpayer dollars to build such transit options?

Of course, we could mandate that new stadiums are built with public money (rather than private ventures) which might insure that mass transit is part of the package.

futurecity
June 3rd, 2010, 05:43 PM
Excuses, Excuses.. That was the clueless past, isn't it time to drop old practices? This country is always coming up with some stupid excuse to not spend money on transit. Now when stadiums are built, people are demanding parking just b/c it is common and b/c tailgaiting MUST take place there. Nothing can change with this attitude. Check out Wembley stadium in London. If this were London, the meadowlands would look different by a mile. Of course, we are not, and we are lazy slovenly pigs of course and need our SUVs. If this were Tokyo, I guarantee you there would be no miles of asphalt around the stadium.

lofter1
June 3rd, 2010, 08:13 PM
Sit Tall For Uncle

futurecity
June 3rd, 2010, 09:25 PM
Sit Tall For Uncle

Ha.. you are a funny one, arn't you.

You could have said, "well, I disagree w/ you", but I guess you weren't going to bother being polite.

arcman210
June 3rd, 2010, 11:07 PM
You simply cant get rid of the parking lots because the rail line cant hold the capacity of the stadium. Suburbs and cities are much different and East Rutherford is a suburb. Theres only one rail line in and out of the Meadowlands and three highways. Cars make more sense because the infrastructure is already there.

Comments about evil SUVs and cars ruining America (btw cars didn't ruin America, they built it) show where you're coming from in your argument and quite frankly, this isn't the place to be preaching politics... its a forum about Xanadu. As for traditions and tailgating, theres nothing you can say to merit an argument that some traditions need to be discarded. Traditions are what people make them and football tailgating is something that will never die... you've obviously never been a part of it and its a shame because you don't understand how much it means to fans. Its part of football, especially in New York. Go to a game, have a burger, and enjoy yourself, life is too short to be worrying about convincing hundreds of millions of Americans to ditch their cars.

As for Xanadu, a facade change will be more than welcomed especially on the ski slope. The best thing they could do is perhaps build a platform over route 120 and expand the plaza of the stadium/rail station into the mall complex, though this is either probably a pipe dream or many years away from being thought about. The one cattle tunnel overpass isn't nearly enough for the mall to be a part of gamedays at the new stadium.

futurecity
June 4th, 2010, 10:26 AM
I disagree with you, but I allready said that my ideas are not mainstream and I don't really care if most people reject them or not. The car may have built America, but it built it in the ''wrong'' way and has led to the ugly landscape of freeways, stripmalls, and sprawl that has scarred our countryside. Of course Stadiums are more accessible my highway, BECAUSE they were made like that by governments, etc.. Face it, the car has always come first over the environment and aesthetics. It shows an ugly side to our mindset here thath we are willign to forsake beauty for miles of concrete and car-orientated retail.

more effort would be in place to MAKE stadiums transit accessible, curtailing parking and forcing people to leave the car at home.

Life is never too short to make a positive change in our evolution as a culture and to make a difference -- your attitude is ridiculously complacent. I have no interest in tail-gating -- I hate parking lots my friend, I would never enjoy this practice, it would never be fun and I am not missing out.

NYatKNIGHT
June 4th, 2010, 04:05 PM
Yeah. You're all ridiculous and I'm right.

ZippyTheChimp
June 4th, 2010, 05:13 PM
Is it safe to come back here? Has the storm blown by? OK, good.

Cars are everywhere in the world. Tens of millions are produced every year. Total cars and per capita ownership are highest in the US, but the industrialized EU isn't far behind.

Tailgating at Meadowlands Stadium happens 16 times a year; a drop in the bucket compared to daily auto-commuting (many more days and many more cars).

If one doesn't like tailgating, they'll come up with some blah-blah.

If I didn't like football, I might blah-blah about what a waste the stadium is.

STT757
June 5th, 2010, 10:25 AM
They need to build a NASCAR oval track plus a road coarse for Formula One races, plus change the development of Xanadu into a year round sports complex ala Chelsea piers but on a much larger scale. It can have stores, but stores centered on sports like an NFL store, NASCAR etc.. Add one of those huge Bass Outlet stores that would anchor the complex, keep the indoor ski ramp and add an indoor water park with wave pools and one of those indoor surfing pools etc..

Tear down the Izod center and replace it with a convention center, the Meadowlands is better suited to handle major conventions on the scale of Orlando and Las Vegas than the Javits Center will ever be able to accommodate. The convention center would be the focus of the week long events for the Super bowl, all the media and NFL experiences can be kept inside nice and warm adjacent to the stadium. Add a couple new hotels, improve the NJ Transit rail connection so that it is able to accommodate more trains per hour and extend the Hudson Light Rail from North Bergen into the complex.

futurecity
June 5th, 2010, 11:36 AM
I think Nascar is a disgusting half sport based on wasteful fuel consumption...what a poor idea !!

ZippyTheChimp
June 5th, 2010, 12:10 PM
F1 is fuel efficient. :rolleyes:

futurecity
June 5th, 2010, 02:10 PM
I didn't know what F1 meant.

Anyway, poor choice to have motorsports....much better use would be to have polo fields, petanque courts, or croquet fields, even a show jumping area... perhaps even english tea formal gardens with rose/flower viewing and a german beer garden too!!! It could be a european themed area, an attraction for all of NYC Metro.

ZippyTheChimp
June 5th, 2010, 02:33 PM
Well, since you've been throwing around Europe-this and Europe-that in so many threads, I just thought I'd point out that there are motorsports in Europe. Formula 1 is extremely popular. There are many courses where cars go around a circuit and waste fuel, and they have parking lots for the people that drive to the event.

lofter1
June 5th, 2010, 05:34 PM
... much better use would be to have polo fields ... even a show jumping area ...


The cost required for participants in either polo or show jumping is outrageously high.

But it would provide balance if such events were held and tailgating was still allowed: Neanderthals on one side of the vast parking lot, Elitists on the other. :D

The very essence of the American Melting Pot.

arcman210
June 6th, 2010, 01:17 PM
Izod is a waste unless it is downsized into a 8000-10000 seat arena and tied into a new convention center or other venture. It would be much better suited to redevelop the land and connect the Meadowlands across route 120 to tie Xanadu with the stadium, perhaps even adding an outdoor component to Xanadu. I never really believed NASCAR has a place in New York City and I still have to think it's not something that's likely to happen. What's likely to happen is the track will expand with slot parlors sometime this decade.

STT757
June 13th, 2010, 02:01 PM
"I do not want Nascar in the NY metro area. The culture and type of people Nascar attracts repulses me."

Second largest tv viewing audience after the NFL, something like 8 of the 10 largest publicly attended sporting events in US history were NASCAR races. NASCAR gets more advertising revenue from Fortune 500 companies than any other sport, seems the NY area and NASCAR would be "perfect together".

arcman210
June 18th, 2010, 05:48 PM
NASCAR is more likely to find a home in Southern NJ than it is in the NY metro area.

alex@newark
July 23rd, 2010, 02:39 PM
why doesnt anybody like this, i truly think it could help new jeresy grow well once it really opens hopefully after this economy crisis is finshed. New jeresy can be looked at as a destination to go to but as for the facade i do think they could have done better ,add more green features i mean come on were all living in a oil/gas dependent world change it UP make it be rare who agrees??

arcman210
July 24th, 2010, 09:26 AM
It's the way it was concieved and built. It was poorly designed to be too much like a suburban mall. The main outdoor components (a minor league baseball park and roller coaster) were axed and most likely never realistic to the developers plans. Could it work, yes. But it's going to take alot more.

This project would have been excellent in Atlantic City as the heart of the Casino District.

GordonGecko
July 25th, 2010, 10:24 AM
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

I do not want Nascar in the NY metro area. The culture and type of people Nascar attracts repulses me.

That's just because you're completely ignorant

STT757
August 2nd, 2010, 02:07 PM
Mall of America developers in discussions to takeover the project;

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/post_179.html

scrollhectic
March 1st, 2011, 11:58 AM
Meadowlands Unveils Redevelopment Plan

By Debra Hazel
February 28, 2011

http://cdn.globest.com/media/newspics/nej_meadowlands-plan.jpg Meadowlands Plan

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Casino gambling will be coming to the Meadowlands, as the Meadowlands Regional Chamber announced a concept plan for the redevelopment of the Sports Complex here that includes a casino, convention center, hotels, entertainment and sports facilities. The total development will consist of 2.5 million square feet and will generate more than 15,000 construction jobs and 25,000 permanent jobs.

“We have everything we need to succeed except an active plan,” Jim Kirkos, chief executive of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber and the Meadowlands Liberty Convention and Visitors Bureau, said during a press event. “The Meadowlands Sports Complex is an entity crying for strategic business thinking, but it is often thwarted by political considerations.”

The plan calls for a $600-million, 1,000-room resort hotel with a 130,000-square-foot casino floor with 3,000 slot positions and 100 table games. In addition to the resort casino, the plan also calls for a dual convention/youth and amateur athletic center, the replacement of the Big M racing track with a more modern facility connected to the casino and an aquatics center.

All of the facilities will be linked to the recent New Jersey Transit rail extension that provides service to New York City’s Penn Station. The plan was conceptualized in collaboration with Chamber members and has been in the works for more than a year, pending the resolution of the Xanadu mall site. In December, the lenders who took control of the never-opened mall announced a non-binding agreement with Triple Five Corp., the owner of Mall of America, to complete the project. Published reports put Xanadu’s opening date in late 2013 or early 2014. According to notes distributed today, the Chamber’s plan utilizes the Sports Complex’s land for the highest and best use for sports and entertainment.

“The relevance of our facilities has degraded shamefully because for too long we had no business plan to maintain our market relevance,” Kirkos said. “But we have a chance to recover because the infrastructure around our site and its inherent location advantages are extraordinary. In a state desperate for tax revenues and job growth, we have no alternative except to maximize the value of this critical asset, which will impact both the region and the state.”

One question is how the addition of casino gambling will affect the struggling casinos of Atlantic City some 100 miles to the south. “There is no reason for the future of the Meadowlands to be postponed while Atlantic City works out its troubles,” Kirkos said. “Even if the state were to start issuing RFPs today, it would take at least four years to open any one of the facilities we have proposed. Atlantic City’s future will be long settled by then. In the meantime, the parking lots in Yonkers, NY and Bethlehem, PA are full of cars with New Jersey plates that may never go back to Atlantic City, but would come to the Meadowlands.”

66nexus
March 1st, 2011, 12:46 PM
I thought I read somewhere that there is a low chance of approval for gambling in the Meadowlands anyway.

66nexus
March 1st, 2011, 12:50 PM
After thinking about it I'm kind of getting irked. Why oh why, does NJ want so bad to make a destination out of a swamp?

I honestly think the Meadowlands should be fully returned to its natural status (which wouldn't happen b/c of stuff already there). Xanadu shouldn't have been built there, and this 'expansion and growth' they're talking about makes it sound like the Meadowlands is a burgeoning cit. Give. Me. A. Frickin. Break.

scrollhectic
March 1st, 2011, 07:31 PM
After thinking about it I'm kind of getting irked. Why oh why, does NJ want so bad to make a destination out of a swamp?

I honestly think the Meadowlands should be fully returned to its natural status (which wouldn't happen b/c of stuff already there). Xanadu shouldn't have been built there, and this 'expansion and growth' they're talking about makes it sound like the Meadowlands is a burgeoning cit. Give. Me. A. Frickin. Break.

I agree with you nexus but Bergen County is the most populous county and so politicians bow to their demands and the republicans in that county are not letting go of that (potential) tax revenue base even if it means throwing state or federal money at it. Ahh... NJ politics

lofter1
March 1st, 2011, 08:46 PM
Why shouldn't they create a money maker that might keep Jerseyites from heading across the river and spending their money in NYS?

And at the same time pull folks over into Jersey to spend some more $$$.

Or maybe NJ is doing A-OK financially and doesn't need it ...

futurecity
March 1st, 2011, 08:56 PM
There is enough swamp left... the development areas hardly impact the wetlands, calm down. Also, there has been stadiums and parking there for years so its not exactly some virgin prestine ecosystem. Why not make us of it, this is the biggest metro in the US and it needs all the land it can get. It's not about making the swamp a destination, its about finding open land to build needed interesting retail and entertainment options that can bring revenue. Where else do you think NJ should build? There are fewer Nimbies here than other areas.

66nexus
March 2nd, 2011, 03:09 AM
Why shouldn't they create a money maker that might keep Jerseyites from heading across the river and spending their money in NYS?

And at the same time pull folks over into Jersey to spend some more $$$.

Or maybe NJ is doing A-OK financially and doesn't need it ...

So I suppose gambling is going to 'fix' Meadowlands the way it 'fixed' AC? Oh wait...

And as an advocate of gambling in AC, I don't see how more competition is a good thing for the state overall (not just the Mlands)

66nexus
March 2nd, 2011, 03:10 AM
I agree with you nexus but Bergen County is the most populous county and so politicians bow to their demands and the republicans in that county are not letting go of that (potential) tax revenue base even if it means throwing state or federal money at it. Ahh... NJ politics

Ain't that the <expletive> truth

Nexis4Jersey
March 2nd, 2011, 06:36 AM
There is enough swamp left... the development areas hardly impact the wetlands, calm down. Also, there has been stadiums and parking there for years so its not exactly some virgin prestine ecosystem. Why not make us of it, this is the biggest metro in the US and it needs all the land it can get. It's not about making the swamp a destination, its about finding open land to build needed interesting retail and entertainment options that can bring revenue. Where else do you think NJ should build? There are fewer Nimbies here than other areas.

Its protected land and local residents / county residents do hike , fish and relax in the Meadowlands... Its also very clean , i suggest you get out and explore the Meadowlands before assuming its dirty....

66nexus
March 2nd, 2011, 05:23 PM
There is enough swamp left... the development areas hardly impact the wetlands, calm down. Also, there has been stadiums and parking there for years so its not exactly some virgin prestine ecosystem. Why not make us of it, this is the biggest metro in the US and it needs all the land it can get. It's not about making the swamp a destination, its about finding open land to build needed interesting retail and entertainment options that can bring revenue. Where else do you think NJ should build? There are fewer Nimbies here than other areas.

If you don't think it's about making the swamp a destination then you're more misinformed than you realize.

Additionally, the stadiums/lots being there for years is neither here nor there. I am totally against expansion. You would probably be all for building the Meadowlands out entirely if it meant 'revenue'. You'd be surprised how necessary the eco-systems in the Meadowlands are.

arcman210
March 2nd, 2011, 07:27 PM
Since when is building on top of parking lots and land-fill destorying an eco-system? The new plan calls for no marshes to be destroyed. And the meadowlands just doesn't include the sports complex... it's much more expansive than that, most of it untouched.

66nexus
March 2nd, 2011, 08:18 PM
Since when is building on top of parking lots and land-fill destorying an eco-system? The new plan calls for no marshes to be destroyed. And the meadowlands just doesn't include the sports complex... it's much more expansive than that, most of it untouched.

Never said it did. In my earlier post on the matter I question the state's want to turn it into a 'destination'. Furthermore, I am against expansion as it seems only a pretext for the same thing down the line. Finally, I don't see how more gambling is a good thing for the state. Taking from Peter to give to Paul is not a solution IMO.

I would propose a similar development in one of our cities (minus the gambling). I think Xanadu was also flawed from the gate and simply got lucky w/ the Mall of Amer owners.

arcman210
March 2nd, 2011, 08:41 PM
Where do you get the impression that the developers are trying to encroach on the eco-systems? The Meadowlands development wont expand outward of the current footprint, its all protected land. Xanadu was built on parking lots and one contained marshland (contained meaning surrounded by parking lots and roads).

Xanadu was tremendously flawed, which is why it failed. The concept would have been great for Atlantic City. That being said, a casino in the Meadowlands is to compete with PA and NY... AC will fight this but their survival depends on the city developing into a destination, the state needs to realize that. NJers are dumping their gambling money into other states. The goal isn't to build a city at the Meadowlands or take away from cities. The idea always was there is untapped potential real estate value at the large expansive (already land-filled) site (original plans called for a Disney World type of attraction). It was poorly executed a decade ago, now the mission is to fix the mess that currently exists. The track is hemmoraging money and the equestrian industry is extremely important to NJ, which is why the tracks have been kept alive by the state for so long. The Meadowlands is an important part of NJ and needs to be properly developed to attract both in state and out of state revenue.

66nexus
March 2nd, 2011, 09:04 PM
Where do you get the impression that the developers are trying to encroach on the eco-systems? The Meadowlands development wont expand outward of the current footprint, its all protected land. Xanadu was built on parking lots and one contained marshland (contained meaning surrounded by parking lots and roads).

Xanadu was tremendously flawed, which is why it failed. The concept would have been great for Atlantic City. That being said, a casino in the Meadowlands is to compete with PA and NY... AC will fight this but their survival depends on the city developing into a destination, the state needs to realize that. NJers are dumping their gambling money into other states. The goal isn't to build a city at the Meadowlands or take away from cities. The idea always was there is untapped potential real estate value at the large expansive (already land-filled) site (original plans called for a Disney World type of attraction). It was poorly executed a decade ago, now the mission is to fix the mess that currently exists. The track is hemmoraging money and the equestrian industry is extremely important to NJ, which is why the tracks have been kept alive by the state for so long. The Meadowlands is an important part of NJ and needs to be properly developed to attract both in state and out of state revenue.

I agree and disagree w/ some of your points, however I must make mine a bit clearer. Nowhere do I get the impression the developers are out threaten eco-systems (the response of mine related to it was to another poster in which I said: "I'd rather it be turned back to its natural status").

My question of 'why turn it into a destination' is based purely upon the state's willingness to expand and build upon.

Where the state (or the M-lands developer/owner/operator) would rather keep it/develop, I'd rather cut losses. Especially from something that has seemed flawed from the get-go (as you suggest).

I don't think gambling is the vaccine for a failed business model. I don't hate the M-lands complex, I just wish it were somewhere else.

66nexus
March 2nd, 2011, 09:07 PM
I agree w/ your saying AC needs to realize itself as a destination. However, in the case of casinos, any casino in the tri-state area compete directly w/ each other. There isn't the boundary for business, which is why it would threaten AC.

arcman210
March 2nd, 2011, 09:19 PM
I think a casino in the meadowlands would cater to an older crowd anyway. The racinos and PA slot parlors typically do so. They don't offer much in terms of comps and hospitality... instead the main attraction is conviniece and a short drive.

I think the real benefit of the Meadowlands is the football stadium, especially the new one since both teams are directly tied to NJ for the next half century. Clearly the arena was a failed business model, just as Xanadu was (and Xanadu was supposed to, in part, help the arena). Though I haven't been there since its been built, the N.E. Patriots built an entertainment destination and shopping mall around their stadium and from what I hear its quite successful.

The original design competition for the Meadowlands redevelopment brought some interesting proposals... a few of which called for a more integrated site plan that spanned route 120 and connected both halves of the site (unfortunately we got the worst one). One of the new plans calls for building a convention center over the highway, seemingly that would connect the site and more importantly, connect the rail station directly with the Xanadu side.

Ninjahedge
March 3rd, 2011, 07:55 AM
Yeah, gambling will fix EVERYTHING.

So instead of people throwingtheir money at a few owners/developers in NYS, they will now be doing it in NJ.

So it will be the poor, bedraggled top 1% in NJ that will finally get the help they so deserve and need.

And don't even get me started on Traffic......

mariab
March 3rd, 2011, 10:03 PM
They can't figure out what they want to put over there. In the meantime, that hideous ramp-ski jump-whatever it is was damaged during the last snowstorm. No wonder Cabela's pulled out. Wise business decision.

futurecity
March 3rd, 2011, 10:36 PM
TBH, I think the best thing here would be a full blown theme park.... I mean, a high class one with some imagination. Enough room?

ASchwarz
March 4th, 2011, 11:19 AM
No wonder Cabela's pulled out. Wise business decision.

Cabela's never "pulled out".

They never signed a lease in the first place, and then got frustrated by the delays, and so ended negotiations.

As for "wise business decision", there currently is no mall, so obviously there is no lease to be signed. If/When this mall opens, I bet you retailers will be breaking down the doors to sign leases.

There are no better demographics in the country than prime Northern NJ, steps from Manhattan, with huge population/density, extremely high incomes, a good economy (relative to the rest of the nation) and excellent road and rail access.

arcman210
March 4th, 2011, 11:46 AM
All of the original tenants are a thing of the past for now, but I wouldn't be surpised to see some of them renegotiate with the new developers. Cabela's wants a presence in the region, and I don't believe they've pursued any other options since Xanadu went under.

The biggest questions I have are if they'll build such things as the Ferris Wheel, what the new exterior scheme will look like, and perhaps my biggest concern: will they try to build an outdoor component and engage the rest of the site, including building over route 120 to connect it to the Stadium... original plans called for an auxilliary component to be built adjacent to the stadium. Also what will be the fate of the Izod Center, which is starting to have a tough time booking events.

mariab
March 4th, 2011, 04:42 PM
Cabela's never "pulled out".

They never signed a lease in the first place, and then got frustrated by the delays, and so ended negotiations.

Lease or no lease, they pulled out of it because of the delays, which is a wise business decision. No reason to wallow in the mire with the others

arcman210
March 4th, 2011, 05:46 PM
They never ruled out leasing space once everything straightened out in terms of new ownership and project completion. I would bet Cabelas opens as they originally planned.

mariab
March 4th, 2011, 07:43 PM
^ They were originally supposed to open in the spring of 2007. I remember seeing that on their website. Then the opening was moved to spring 2008. Last year I read they pulled out because of the delays (& who knows what else). Would love to see them up there. Nice change from the same ole same ole.

arcman210
March 4th, 2011, 08:04 PM
But the reason they didn't open isn't because they decided not to, but rather because the entire complex was never completed. The store was to be located inside the mall, and the infrastructure was completely dependant on the entire building's infrastructure and the entire building ran a half a billion dollars from being completed. I believe they were slated to lease the space the southwest corner of the mall, the portion of the building that is clad in green and tan panels. Somehow I think this was tied into an outdoor/sport lifestyle themed area, which is why it was located by the ski slope.

Lots of tenants listed 2007 and/or 2008 as their planned openings on their respective companies websites... Lucky Strike Lanes, Muvico Theatres, Legoland, and a few of the chain restaurants all planned opening their locations when the building was completed.

mariab
March 4th, 2011, 09:04 PM
Cabela's CEO says Xanadu store 'highly unlikely'
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Last updated: Wednesday February 3, 2010, 6:48 PM
BY JOHN BRENNAN
The Record
STAFF WRITER
Cabela’s, a cornerstone partner of the Meadowlands Xanadu project since 2004, is unlikely to ever open a store at the site, the company’s chief executive told potential investors at an event in California on Wednesday night.
http://media.bergen.com/images/300*168/xandu.jpg (http://media.bergen.com/images/xandu.jpg) FILE PHOTO BY TARIQ ZEHAWI
Construction at the Xanadu project.


The comments by Tommy Millner at the ICR Xchange — a two-day event at which dozens of businesses tout their assets to institutional portfolio managers, investment bankers and private equity leaders — raise serious questions about the viability of the struggling, $2 billion shopping and retail project.
“We also have told the street that we have a store planned at the Xanadu project in East Rutherford (http://www.northjersey.com/eastrutherford), New Jersey,” CEO Tommy Millner told the audience at a resort in Dana Point, Calif., after first addressing other new store plans. “That has been a very, very troubled development, and it is highly unlikely that store will open either in 2010 — or probably ever. Not of our doing — of development problems.”
Colony Capital, Xanadu’s developer, dismissed Millner’s comments.
“We have a signed commitment from Cabela’s and have every reason to believe that they will honor that agreement,” said Peter Fair, chief operating officer for Meadowlands Xanadu.
Cabela’s, which Millner called “the world’s foremost outfitter of hunting, fishing and camping gear,” with annual revenues of more than $2.6 billion — had once touted the Xanadu location for the potential of becoming the foremost store in its chain, building at least 150,000 square feet of space to sell its goods in the nation’s largest market.
But during a 15-minute pitch to investors Wednesday, Millner never mentioned Xanadu. His comments came in response to the first question from the audience.
The news about Cabela’s comes just days before the inauguration of Republican Chris Christie as governor. Christie is a critic of the project who said during the election campaign that he was skeptical that the project could ever find the additional $500 million in funding it needs to open.
Governor Corzine and New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority officials have expressed optimism that the money was just around the corner, but that hasn’t happened so far. A spokesman for the sports authority did not offer a comment on Millner’s remarks Thursday.
But Millner’s comments led state Sen. Richard Codey, a former Democratic governor, to sarcastically refer to Xanadu as “Neverland.”
“This is pretty clearly a knife in the heart,” Codey said. “I’d love to see it open tomorrow, but ‘tomorrow, tomorrow’ has been promised for years,” Codey said. “I feel like ‘Annie.’ We’re getting close to the point where we’ve got to look at what’s best for the [sports] complex — to have this ugly-looking building lie vacant or … then what do we do?”
A segment of the Xanadu exterior matches the Cabela’s signature green coloring, and the company has been a key public piece of the Xanadu landscape since its intention to occupy a store there since October 2004.
Then-Gov. James McGreevey accepted an oversized, game-show-style check from now-defunct Mills Corp. for $160 million for the first 15 years rent for the project as part of an elaborate press event that included a 33,000-square-foot “village” and a 32-foot ski jump with faux snow, a tribute to the planned indoor skiing area that also has been a signature component. The co-hosts for the event were ex-Sports Illustrated cover girl Christie Brinkley and Chris Harrison, the host of the TV reality series “The Bachelor.”
The project touted a minor-league baseball park as a major option for years, but would-be Bergen Cliff Hawks owner Steve Kalafer pronounced that idea dead a year ago.
Other proposed attractions — aside from up to 1 million square feet of retail space — included a 2,000-seat concert hall, a LegoLand Discovery Centre, a MagiQuest wand game for children, and a Lucky Strike martini bar and upscale bowling center.
The proposal was approved by the sports authority board in February 2003, but lawsuits by project opponents and the financial struggles of Mills Corp. led to years of delays. Colony Capital took over the project from Mills in late 2006, but the faltering economy contributed to a slowdown of the project construction in March. The multicolored exterior is nearly done, but the interior needs an extensive amount of work to make it ready for 200 or more retail tenants, as well as at least a dozen entertainment attractions.
E-mail: brennan@northjersey.com

http://www.northjersey.com/news/011410_Cabelas_CEO_says_Xanadu_store_highly_unlike ly.html

Basically, Millner was just being nice. I think he realized what a cluster you-know-what it was & got cold feet, even though he said "...not of our doing." The fact that Xanadu had a signed commitment from them made Millner temper his words so it wouldn't turn into some kind of war. Couldn't find anything current on any possible litigation or compensation Xanadu may or may not be looking for.

arcman210
March 5th, 2011, 07:49 AM
Later articles, he changed his view to non-committal as new ownership and a new governor and administration took over control of the project. I would say until they announce a new proposed location in the region, the chance of a store is still fairly likely.

mariab
March 5th, 2011, 12:20 PM
I hope so...

RedEyes
March 23rd, 2011, 06:39 PM
I'd love for it to be built, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

TREPYE
April 1st, 2011, 02:52 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/misc/nytlogo153x23.gif (http://www.nytimes.com/)



April 1, 2011

Fix Xanadu? Experts Tell How

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/p/richard_perezpena/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A state official declared Thursday that the ill-starred, long-stalled Xanadu mall would be renamed. But by any name, it will still be the building that Gov. Chris Christie (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/christopher_j_christie/index.html?inline=nyt-per) has called ”an offense to the eyes as you drive up the Turnpike.”
“It’s by far the ugliest damn building in New Jersey, and maybe America," the governor said last week, drawing cheers at a public forum in Nutley, and knowing nods across the state.
Mr. Christie is hardly the first to complain about the looks of the huge, nearly completed retail-and-entertainment mall alongside the Meadowlands sports complex here. Columnists and online forums have taken swings at it. Richard J. Codey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/richard_j_codey/index.html?inline=nyt-per), a state senator and former governor, called it “yucky-looking.” And former State Senator Raymond H. Bateman said, “I think the exterior will always be schlocky, no matter what you do with it.”
The facade of the 2.3- million-square-foot complex has walls of horizontal rectangles, walls of vertical stripes, varying shades of blue, green and orange, and an indoor ski slope that rises at an angle above the rest. Critics have compared the look to stacked shipping containers, Lego blocks and bar codes.
The garish walls were not intended as a naked skin. An array of animated, electronic signs and other décor was supposed to surround the building, but may never be built. With $2 billion spent and more needed to finish it, the main problem Xanadu faces is money. Twice, developers have been forced to withdraw when financing ran dry; the state is trying to get another developer to take over and perform a face-lift.
The architects who created the original design, the Rockwell Group, have thrown in the towel: After previous developers repeatedly changed the plans, the group withdrew in 2008 and disavowed any responsibility for the project’s appearance.
So we asked the experts to weigh in:
Does Xanadu look all that bad, and what would you do about it?

Paul Goldberger (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/g/paul_goldberger/index.html?inline=nyt-per)
Architecture critic of The New Yorker (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/the_new_yorker/index.html?inline=nyt-org)
“It really is unspeakably ugly, there’s no doubt about that. It looks someone tried to decorate a nuclear reactor.”
“In really big projects in this region, there’s been nothing as horrible as that. I would put Madison Square Garden on the same scale, but it’s not recent. I know various people have said the whole Trump complex on Riverside South is worse, and it is pretty bad.”
“With Xanadu I think the only solution, other than dynamite, is lots of lights and signage. The thing is vulgar by any standard, so maybe the only solution is to make it more vulgar — more lights than Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip.”

Guy Geier
Managing partner of the architectural firm FXFowle, and a New Jersey resident
Structures with cavernous interior spaces pose a particular design challenge: to avoid an exterior of huge, dull slabs. Xanadu’s multicolored panels are understandable “as an attempt to break down the mass of the building, because it is so large,” but they do not work well.
Is there a less attractive high-profile development of recent vintage in the region? “I would be hard-pressed” to think of one.
“Just the number of eyes who see it every day provide an opportunity for whoever gets to redesign it to maybe make a more serious statement about what we should be thinking about in our buildings these days. So, for instance, maybe that exterior could be solar, potentially clad in photovoltaic panels.”
A new developer could make some of the exterior transparent, “re-skinning it to expose more of what’s going on inside the building” — an approach FXFowle is taking in renovating the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
The original vision of flashing, moving signs could be “distracting to people while they drive. Might be more of a hazard than a benefit.”

Melissa Lafsky
Editor in chief of the Web site The Infrastructurist
“Sure, Xanadu is ugly, but the true extent of its repugnance has to be taken in relation to its building costs. Every Wal-Mart (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/wal_mart_stores_inc/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and KFC in America is ugly — but what are magnificently ugly are the buildings that cost hundreds of millions to construct, and still emerge as aesthetic monstrosities.”
Considering Xanadu’s price tag, “it may have a good case for Ugliest Money Pit in America.”
In the New York region, “the only thing comparable would be Trumpville on the West Side Highway. It beats Xanadu in its sheer mass, and its brutal imposition on the eyes of millions of people.”

David Jansen
Partner at Adamson Associates Architects, of Toronto
(The firm carried out the Xanadu designs, but did not create them.)
“It needs to go back and get its layers put on. It would be better than what’s there now.”
“What you see there was meant to be the backdrop, never the foreground. It was always intended to be another layer on the outside — LEDs, signage, landscaping, metal mesh and other elements.”
As for the current exterior, “If those components do recede into the background, I think they will work.”

Brian McGrath
Founder and principal of Urban-Interface L.L.C., an urban design consulting practice
(A decade ago, Mr. McGrath worked with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to generate ideas for developing the area.)
“It’s the ultimate example of the shopping mall as an enclosed space that doesn’t engage the environment around it. New Jersey is famous for those. It’s less about the ugliness and the scale and the ambition, and more about how you engage a wetland. An indoor ski slope that requires refrigeration year-round blatantly disregards the environment.”
Xanadu’s design “could in same ways make reference to its environment, to the wetlands, the wildlife,” but it does not. “These open areas — the Meadowlands, Jamaica Bay — are the blue and green lungs of our region, and they’ve been completely disregarded and dumped on. They’re just places to drive past and fly over when we’re landing at the airport.”
The missing outer layer, with its electronic components, would be something of an improvement. “It’s definitely in the spirit of Las Vegas, and the love of the ugly and the ordinary in the American landscape.”
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/04/02/nyregion/XANADU1/XANADU1-articleLarge.jpg
Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Xanadu, the huge, nearly completed retail-and-entertainment mall alongside the Meadowlands sports complex in New Jersey.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/02/nyregion/02xanadu.html?hp

ZippyTheChimp
April 1st, 2011, 03:38 PM
Home Depot with a flair.

futurecity
April 1st, 2011, 05:22 PM
If they had built a decent conventional mall with some style, or town-center outdoor mall, I think they would have had more success than this silly concept. Design sells. I'm amazed that they didn't go for something that with an organic material look that would have blended in with the surroundings. Guess they went cheap and deservedly received a poor outcome. The meadowlands is not Times Square. They needed to have an open facade, which is more inviting than the big-box look. Geewillikers, you betha they went cheapo here. Sarah Palin would like it.

Dubai & Singapore know how to do good indoor tall atrium malls.. Should've tried to copy them on a smaller scale.

millertime83
April 29th, 2011, 08:46 AM
I guess this thread needs to be renamed to American Dream Meadowlands.


Triple Five, the parent company of the Mall of America in Minnesota, has completed an agreement with lenders to take over operations of Meadowlands Xanadu, a Mall of America spokesman said Thursday.

Except it wouldn’t be known as Xanadu anymore — the 2 million-square-foot retail and entertainment project would take on a new name, American Dream Meadowlands.

The deal is subject to approval by Governor Christie and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. But state officials have been busy since last December — when Triple Five signed a letter of intent to try to close the complex, multibillion-dollar deal — working on reviving the fortunes of a project that has been mostly dormant for more than two years.


The first phase of the operation is scheduled to open by fall 2013, said Maureen Bausch, Mall of America’s executive vice president of business development — months ahead of the February 2014 Super Bowl.

Bausch said that the new name “connotes opportunity not just for us, but for the community, with new jobs and greater tax revenues, plus local greater local entertainment year-round.”

“We are taking a building which people haven’t maybe had so much pride in yet, and turning it into a place that you’ll have to visit every time you come to the area,” Bausch added.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/042811_Xanadu_to_become_American_DreamMeadowlands. html

GordonGecko
April 29th, 2011, 04:08 PM
“It really is unspeakably ugly, there’s no doubt about that. It looks someone tried to decorate a nuclear reactor.”

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2011/04/02/nyregion/XANADU1/XANADU1-articleLarge.jpg

That's really funny because that's EXACTLY what comes to mind every time I see the outside of Xanadu. It looks like a soviet chernobyl-class RBMK nuclear reactor

http://i53.tinypic.com/282f48j.jpg

http://www.dvhardware.net/news/2010/chernobyl_sarcophagus_phoronix.jpg

lofter1
April 29th, 2011, 05:36 PM
Isn't that ^ the Barclays Arena rising in BK?

Newarkguy
April 29th, 2011, 06:35 PM
Its made of lego blocks.

Newarkguy
April 29th, 2011, 06:37 PM
That numbered floor, are those hundreds of fuel rods I see?

millertime83
May 4th, 2011, 01:25 PM
12896

12897

Much bigger and more expensive, but less gaudy: Gov. Chris Christie and developers laid out a new vision on Tuesday for completing and expanding the vast retail and entertainment complex formerly known as Xanadu in the Meadowlands.


Triple Five — the developer taking over the project, which is now called American Dream@Meadowlands — announced that the mall, where work ground to a halt two years ago, would open for business in late 2013. Mr. Christie disclosed that Triple Five was also in talks with New Jersey officials about taking over the Izod Center, the struggling sports and entertainment arena nearby.


It was revealed last week that the state, lenders and Triple Five had reached an agreement for the developer to restart and expand the immense, unfinished Xanadu project. But no one provided any details until Tuesday, when state officials and executives of Triple Five held a news conference here and, for the first time, gave journalists in hard hats a tour of the almost-completed main building.

via http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/nyregion/christie-and-developers-detail-plan-for-xanadu-complex.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

GordonGecko
May 4th, 2011, 02:12 PM
The good folks at Triple Five probably have no idea what they're in for with the Jersey unions, this will cost them far more than they expect. If they're smart they'll go non-union if they want to actually get this done. But I'm pulling for them, it would be a great attraction for the area

mariab
May 4th, 2011, 02:44 PM
At least they're finally doing something with it, including a much-needed facelift. I think what they have planned is great for that area. I wonder if they'll still have the summer carnival every June after it opens.

Newarkguy
May 7th, 2011, 11:23 AM
Is non union labor in this scale even possible in nj? Or have unions lobbied to make it illegal?.

mariab
August 23rd, 2011, 04:24 PM
Builder seeks $1B in public financing and tax breaks to complete 'Dream'

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 Last updated: Tuesday August 23, 2011, 6:32 AM
BY JOHN BRENNAN
STAFF WRITER
The Record

The potential operators of American Dream Meadowlands — the project formerly known as Xanadu — are seeking to raise as much as $1 billion in public financing and tax breaks this fall, with the goal of resuming construction of the $3.8 billion project by the end of the year.
http://media.northjersey.com/images/300*231/1219A_XANADU.jpg (http://media.northjersey.com/images/1219A_XANADU.jpg) FILE PHOTO
The structure formerly known as Xanadu is now called American Dream.


Kurt Hagen, a senior vice president for Mall of America, said Monday that while the plan may remind some North Jerseyans of the failed EnCap project just a few miles to the south, there is a critical distinction between the two projects.
"This is not public funding, it's public financing," Hagen said. "I know there were a lot of mistakes made in that [EnCap] project, and no one will want to make that mistake again. That's a good thing, from the public's standpoint."
Bondholders lost hundreds of millions of dollars on Bergen County (http://wirednewyork.com/news/bergen) Improvement Authority-issued bonds when the EnCap project fell apart in 2008, because the money was to be repaid from annual revenue streams when the project opened.
New Jersey taxpayers lost more than $50 million, as well, because the state Department of Environmental Protection put up that additional money with repayment to be made in similar fashion.
Under the concept laid out by Hagen, the state would not risk any taxpayer money if a public entity is used — whether the Borough of East Rutherford (http://wirednewyork.com/eastrutherford), the BCIA or the state Meadowlands Commission, for instance — as a conduit to issue tax-free bonds.
Bergen County (http://wirednewyork.com/news/bergen) officials said last week that the BCIA would consider issuing at least $300 million in bonds for the project — but only if county taxpayer dollars were not at risk. Hagen said that potential bondholders would risk losing everything if the project failed, because various revenue streams from the project would be the only method of repayment.
"They would need to do due diligence, have their own bond underwriters look at it and have faith in the project and faith in us," Hagen said.
The same would be true of a separate tax-free bond issue for as much as $300 million, to be repaid by a portion of the project's annual parking revenue. While many malls don't charge for parking, Hagen said that if the project didn't charge a fee, it would become a "free park-and-ride" for commuters, who could then take a train from the project site to Secaucus (http://wirednewyork.com/secaucus) and beyond. He said a fee of $3 to $5 is being considered and that company officials are working on a "complex formula" to figure out how much shoppers would have to spend to obtain a parking refund.
The American Dream funding plan, however, also calls for $200 million to $500 million in tax breaks through the state Economic Development Authority. Whether that is a taxpayer expense, or how much of that figure should be considered as such, is in the eye of the beholder.
The developer, which may submit its application to the EDA next month, would pay only 25 percent of its annual tax bill each year until about 20 percent of the new construction costs had been recouped.
Supporters include state Sen. Ray Lesniak, D-Union, sponsor of a law that last month made American Dream eligible for the incentive. Lesniak called the tax break a "no-brainer with no risk" on Monday. Lesniak was referring to the fact that, unlike with EnCap, the state wouldn't put up any money.
Under the law, if the developer would have built the project without the incentive, the state would be able to keep all the tax money that was due. But an American Dream spokeswoman has insisted that would not be the case in the Meadowlands.
Lesniak backs that assertion, saying the poor economic climate and difficult lending environment have slowed development statewide.
At this point, a broad range of dollar figures — $200 million to $500 million — is being discussed for a potential tax break because it is unclear whether all of the proposed $1.9 billion in new construction costs is eligible, Hagen said, adding that a portion of the $1.9 billion spent by two previous developers conceivably could be eligible, too.
East Rutherford (http://wirednewyork.com/eastrutherford) Mayor James Cassella said that he would be "just as happy" to see a county or state entity handle the bonding role — no matter how ironclad a guarantee East Rutherford (http://wirednewyork.com/rutherford) had that it would be protected in the event of a project failure.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/128227778_Builder_seeks__1B_to_complete__Dream_.ht ml

mariab
February 19th, 2013, 07:48 PM
New Jersey officials: 'Ugliest building in the world' needs a facelift

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Video/130219/130219-mall-hmed-11a.photoblog600.jpg (http://wirednewyork.com/forum/undefined)Mel Evans / AP, File
This file photo from September 2011 shows the "American Dream" megamall in East Rutherford, N.J. Officials now want to facelift the brightly-colored shopping and entertainment complex before the 2014 Super Bowl, which will be hosted at MetLife Stadium, pictured rear right.


By Vignesh Ramachandran, Staff Writer, NBC News

It's been called the "ugliest building in the world" by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — and now state officials want to do something about it before they host the Super Bowl in 2014.
The American Dream super mall project in East Rutherford, N.J., remains unfinished with its brightly-colored, multi-patterned facade, a stark contrast to the landscape surrounding the nearby New Jersey Turnpike.
Adjacent to the site is MetLife Stadium, home to two NFL teams: the New York Jets and New York Giants. The three-year-old stadium will host the 2014 Super Bowl.
But before the crowds come into town for the big game, state officials want to change the look of the megamall building next door, which remains idle after construction stalled in 2009 due to financial woes, The-Star Ledger newspaper reported (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/02/xanadu_waiting_to_be_reborn_as.html#incart_m-rpt-1).

The project, formerly called "Xanadu," is currently only 80 percent complete."I would anticipate the construction will start in 2013 and there will be a heavy emphasis on making sure the exterior will look different before the Super Bowl," real estate executive Jon F. Hanson told The Star-Ledger.
"When they get finished, it will be hard to remember what it looked like," Hanson — who also serves as Gov. Christie's chief adviser on New Jersey's sports and entertainment industries — told the newspaper. "What they will do will change it dramatically."
A spokesman for the project's new developer, Triple Five, told The-Star Ledger that they agree that changing the building facade is a "priority."
"While American Dream will not be completed in time for the Super Bowl, we do fully intend to be prepared and able to host and support Super Bowl-related events as needed to assist the host committee and others with related Super Bowl needs," spokesman Alan Marcus told the newspaper.
The American Dream Meadowlands project (http://www.americandream.com/), which has already seen its share of criticism for being an alleged eyesore, aims to be a destination and claims that it would attract 40 million visitors annually.
The site would feature everything from retail stores to movie theaters to an indoor ski and snowboard park. The costs for the project is up to $3.7 billion, according to The Star-Ledger.
Last summer, the Giants and the Jets sued to block the megamall, claiming it would create traffic woes and interference with game days, The Associated Press reported (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/jets-giants-sue-block-nj-megamall).

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/19/17019030-new-jersey-officials-ugliest-building-in-the-world-needs-a-facelift?lite

West Hudson
February 20th, 2013, 02:51 AM
I wish there was more transparency with this project since Triple Five is getting so much state support. Christie said back in mid-January that the project would be restarted by the end of the month, and here we are in February with no movement at all (at least as far as I know).

Ed007Toronto
February 20th, 2013, 11:18 AM
Is it actually open as a mall or is it sitting empty?

Nexis4Jersey
February 20th, 2013, 12:25 PM
Is it actually open as a mall or is it sitting empty?

Sitting empty , leaking , sinking , unstable....

Ninjahedge
February 20th, 2013, 12:56 PM
I can't WAIT until it opens so we can all enjoy the increased camaraderie we will all feel as we sit motionless on Route 3.

GordonGecko
February 20th, 2013, 01:45 PM
Sitting empty , leaking , sinking , unstable....

http://chivethebrigade.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/chernobyl-500-34.jpg?w=500&h=364 http://www.mynairn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/chernobyl.jpg

Nexis4Jersey
February 20th, 2013, 02:32 PM
I can't WAIT until it opens so we can all enjoy the increased camaraderie we will all feel as we sit motionless on Route 3.

Your town doesn't seem to concerned by the traffic....

Ed007Toronto
February 21st, 2013, 10:28 AM
Sitting empty , leaking , sinking , unstable....

Crazy considering the article posted above indicating it needs a facelift. Perhaps they should open it first.

Nexis4Jersey
February 21st, 2013, 10:34 AM
Crazy considering the article posted above indicating it needs a facelift. Perhaps they should open it first.

It was never ready to open , only 80% completed and has sat unfinished for 3 years hence the leaking and sinking.....it needs to be demolished along with the Izod center and restored to Wetlands...

mariab
February 21st, 2013, 04:10 PM
What are the buildings in that top shot?

Nexis4Jersey
February 21st, 2013, 04:42 PM
What are the buildings in that top shot?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

futurecity
March 1st, 2013, 12:06 AM
It was never ready to open , only 80% completed and has sat unfinished for 3 years hence the leaking and sinking.....it needs to be demolished along with the Izod center and restored to Wetlands...

Too drastic. I think the area needs this attraction.

Nexis4Jersey
March 1st, 2013, 12:08 AM
Too drastic. I think the area needs this attraction.

Why , we already have 8 malls including 1 mega mall within a 10 mile radius....we don't need anymore malls or anymore congestion....the roads are overcapacity and NJT doesn't have the $$$ to service the area on a daily basis.

futurecity
March 1st, 2013, 12:09 AM
If it becomes a big enough draw, I'm sure they'll find a way to put in a light rail connection in the future.

ASchwarz
March 1st, 2013, 08:57 PM
Why , we already have 8 malls including 1 mega mall within a 10 mile radius....we don't need anymore malls or anymore congestion....the roads are overcapacity and NJT doesn't have the $$$ to service the area on a daily basis.

It isn't a mall, and it isn't going to be competing with malls. There won't be any department stores, nor will there be regular mall stores.

It's an entertainment center, with ski slope, ferris wheel, water park, concert hall, and indoor amusement park. It's more like an indoor Disney, Six Flags, or whatever.

And I don't understand your traffic/transit argument. Yes, roads are congested, and transit is underfunded. So what? We're not supposed to build anything? How does that solve the problem?