Though New Jersey governor Chris Christie now has a much more pressing structure-related issue on his hands, regarding a certain bridge from Fort Lee to Manhattan, the "ugliest damn building in New Jersey, and maybe America" is how he once referred to a massive stalled development that sits next door to the Meadowlands's MetLife Stadium, host of Sunday night's Super Bowl. Originally known as Xanadu—the potential for poetic irony apparently lost on the developers—this recent subject of a deep dive over at Atlantic Cities was proposed as a massive entertainment complex with an indoor ski slope, and nearly a decade after it broke ground, it still shows no signs of reaching completion. Come Sunday, this colorfully-panelled complex will serve as a staging area for police, as well as a reminder of the lingering death throes of the indoor mall.
As if one ironic title weren't enough, the place is now known as American Dream. The name was bestowed by Triple Five Group, the owner of Mall of America, which took over the project when construction ground to a halt in 2009, after its financier, a subsidiary of now-defunct Lehman Brothers, could no longer afford to make payments. Reports held that it was about eighty percent finished at the time, although that figure was scaled back a bit in 2010, when the eastern wall and part of the roof collapsed due to snow and ice. In its current form, American Dream is still dreaming big, with plans to hold a mini golf course, water park, ice rink, ferris wheel, performing arts center, movie theater, aquarium, a staggering amount of retail stores, and the "world's first exclusive kosher food hall."
According to a Triple Five spokesman, the place is set to open in 2016, though it still faces significant hurdles. For one, it's being sued by the Jets and the Giants, on the grounds that the traffic it attracts will turn game days into parking nightmares. Look for it in the background of Sunday's pregame coverage, and take a tour through this supremely botched development below:
· This Year's Super Bowl Has a Particularly Embarrassing Neighbor [Atlantic Cities]