EAST RUTHERFORD – The massive project known as American Dream received the go ahead today from the Sports and Exposition Authority.
The development proposal once known as Xanadu has gone through a change of developers, and now includes approximately 300 shops, a fine-dining restaurant and an amustement park.
The OK by the authority means developer Triple Five can get under way with site prep and other work.
Triple Five, which owns the Mall of America in Minnesota, took over the project at the end of 2010. At that point, Gov. Chris Christie hailed Triple Five’s involvement and said the Meadowlands project would become New Jersey’s own Mall of America.
But the project has drawn opposition. In addition to environmentalists’ criticism of filled-in wetlands and massive sprawl, the project also drew a lawsuit from the NFL’s Giants and Jets last year.
The teams had filed suit over failure to resolve potential massive traffic problems on game days at the nearby MetLife Stadium.
But now the project, which has been on drawing boards for a decade or more, has achieved a critical approval from the Authority.