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Thread: Xanadu complex

  1. #211

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    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.

  2. #212

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    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?

  3. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by mariab View Post
    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.

  4. #214
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    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.

  5. #215

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    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

  6. #216
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    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.

  7. #217

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    ^ 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.

  8. #218
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    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.

  9. #219

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    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.
    [IMG]http://media.bergen.com/images/300*168/xandu.jpg[/IMG] 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, 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/0114..._unlikely.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.

  10. #220
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    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.

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  12. #222

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    I'd love for it to be built, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

  13. #223
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    April 1, 2011

    Fix Xanadu? Experts Tell How

    By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

    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 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, 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
    Architecture critic of The New Yorker
    “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 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.”

    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/ny...xanadu.html?hp

  14. #224

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    Home Depot with a flair.

  15. #225

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    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.
    Last edited by futurecity; April 1st, 2011 at 06:27 PM.

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