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Since news broke this month that Dubai is hellbent on building the biggest mall our planet has ever known, now's a good time to check in on the progress at America's own fabulously crazy mall development, New Jersey's American Dream Meadowlands. The $1.8 billion project, formerly named Meadowlands Xanadu, is slated to open in the fall of 2016, and proposed entertainment options include a ski slope, skydiving wind tunnels, an enormous ferris wheel, and the world's largest wave pool. USA, USA!
So what's going on with the construction at the American Dream site? In June, NorthJersey.com checked in and found no signs of construction activity. "Just because people aren't seeing activity doesn't mean there isn't activity," the site quotes New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority president Wayne Hasenbalg as saying. Developers and state officials say that the project remains on schedule and actual work on the mega-complex will be apparent soon.
Meanwhile, Chris Christie is under fire for his role in the project, thanks to a two-part investigative report by The Nation. The article alleges that the political dealing behind American Dream Meadowlands "could be the latest, and biggest, conflict-of-interest scandal in the tangle of scandals plaguing the New Jersey governor." The Nation reports that Christie's administration and Christie-connected New Jersey law firm Wolff & Samson pushed for the development at every opportunity, and that the funding for the American Dream Meadowland is an "incredibly convoluted and risky set of arrangements" including as much as $500 million in bonds issued by the town of East Rutherford, New Jersey. The mall's financing is causing pundits and taxpayers to wonder what will happen for the county, town and state if the project goes bust.
· Little Activity Evident, But Developers Say American Dream Project on Track for 2016 Opening [North Jersey]
· The Saga of Christie, Samson and the American Dream Megamall: Part I [The Nation]
· The Saga of Christie, Samson and the American Dream Megamall: Part II [The Nation]
· America's Craziest Mall Will Offer Indoor Surfing, Skiing, Topshop [Racked]
· Dubai Will Build Our Planet's Biggest Mall, By Golly [Racked]