It was a story that had to be told: The massive hulk of a huge facility on the Meadowlands in East Rutherford looked like a jumbled heap of Lego blocks, prompting Gov. Chris Christie to pronounce it “by far the ugliest damn building in New Jersey and maybe America.”
It started out as Xanadu, a massive shopping and entertainment complex that two developers couldn’t bring to completion. Rechristened the American Dream, another developer believes it can realize the vision and deliver a sprawling retail and entertainment center — with a water park, amusement park, ice skating rink, observation wheel, and ski slope. One the developer says tourists from around the world will flock to visit.
And it took three reporters — Susan Berfield of Bloomberg Businessweek, Ilya Marritz of WNYC, and John Reitmeyer of NJ Spotlight — to put together the five-part series that examines the American Dream in detail: history, potential competition from online shopping, profile of the developers, mind-numbingly complex deals behind its financing, and a look at how some politicians and their allies are already profiting from the megamall — before its doors have opened.
Read the full story on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.
Read “Mall Madness” on NJ Spotlight: