The American Dream megamall is finally opening after more than 2 decades. Here's how the 3 million-square-foot complex went from an idea to a reality.
- The American Dream complex is opening to the public on Friday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
- The 3 million-square-foot center will be one of the largest malls in North America and will feature a theme park, ice rink, water park, and indoor ski center in addition to over 450 shops.
- American Dream was first envisioned in 1996 and was originally called Xanadu by a completely different development team.
- Here's the decades-long story of how one of the largest malls to open in the US came to be, from original concept to opening week.
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One of the largest malls in the US is opening this week - and it's been more than 20 years in the making.
Years of planning, evolving, and construction are culminating in the opening of the American Dream complex in New Jersey on Friday. The opening process will happen in stages though 2020 and when all is said and done the 3 million-square-foot center will be one of the largest malls on the East Coast, boasting a theme park, ice rink, water park, and indoor ski center in addition to over 450 retail stores.American Dream was developed by Triple Five Group, the company that owns Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall, the two largest retail and entertainment centers in North America. But Triple Five wasn't the first developer on the project, which started as an idea in 1996 and broke ground in 2004.
American Dream has evolved tremendously since its conception. It was initially called Xanadu Meadowlands and was being developed by Mills Corporation in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty Corporation.
The first phase of American Dream's staggered opening begins this Friday after nearly 20 years of planning and multiple delayed openings. The Nickelodeon Universe theme park, DreamWorks water park, and ice-skating rink will open first, followed by various opening stages that will last throughout 2020.
Here's the story of the more 20-year journey of American Dream, from the original idea to final reality.