- Construction on the first 3-million-square-foot phase of the 6-million-square-foot American Dream Meadowlands mall and tourist attraction in East Rutherford, NJ, is back on track, according to Forbes.
- Work halted on the project in December, but developer Triple Five Group said its lender had released the necessary funds to get started again and that it would close on $1.6 billion of permanent funding soon.
- Project officials said the first phase is already 74% leased, and they expect that number to increase to 82% by summer. The mall is scheduled for a fall 2018 opening.
When the project is complete, the mall will not only feature retail and dining venues, but it will also house the country's first indoor ski slope, as well as an indoor water park and an amusement park.
Miami-Dade County has given its initial approval for a similar endeavor under the same developer, the $3 billion American Dream Miami, which will be built near the Florida Turnpike. The "retail theme park" aims to challenge Disney World for tourist dollars. The approval from Miami-Dade, however, doesn’t seal the deal. Developers must now get the green light from the state, a process that should take another four months. Officials estimate the project will create an estimated 32,000 construction jobs, 14,500 permanent jobs and $230 million each year in county revenue.
Owners of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, are also including amusement-type attractions in their long-term plans to finance an estimated $289 million in upgrades and repairs to the iconic vessel. That 150,000-square-foot active entertainment attraction will be part of a 65-acre entertainment, dining and retail center called Queen Mary Island.