Move over, Great Adventure! Dreamworks SKG will build new theme park in Meadowlands
Triple Five and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. on Wednesday announced plans to create an indoor theme park at the American Dream at Meadowlands project (formerly Xanadu) around the characters found in DreamWorks Animation films.
American Dream at Meadowlands on Route 3 will house the first North American theme park to exclusively feature DreamWorks Animation characters, including favorites from the company’s blockbuster films of “Shrek,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Madagascar.”
“American Dream at Meadowlands is poised to become a one-of-a-kind retail and entertainment destination in North America. We look forward to working with Triple Five Worldwide to incorporate DreamWorks Animation characters, storytelling, and technology into a unique and innovative family entertainment experience at the venue,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation in a press statement.
“American Dream at Meadowlands is working with the most creative minds in the entertainment business,” said Don Ghermezian, president of Triple Five Worldwide. “The theme park will have direct input from the creative talents behind the films to create a park experience that will attract a global market.”
American Dream at Meadowlands will house themed rides, attractions, retail and other venues. The retail and entertainment venue will also have a water park, ice skating rink, indoor ski park and theaters along with nearly 1.7 million square feet of retail space and 150,000 square feet of fine dining and restaurants.
The project has stalled several times due to lack of financial backing since 2009. Canada-based developer Triple Five Group stepped in at the end of 2010 and proposed an expansion of the project to include indoor amusement and water parks.
American Dream developer seeks dismissal of Giants, Jets lawsuit
Triple Five, the developer of the American Dream Meadowlands project on Route 3, moved in Superior Court on Tuesday to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the New York Giants and New York Jets.
The professional sports teams sought an injunction last month to prevent the developer from reviving the project. The lawsuit filed in a state court in Bergen County alleges that Triple Five did not receive their consent to expand the project and also cites traffic impacts.
Area mayors have also expressed concerns about potential traffic impacts due to the expansion and have considered joining the lawsuit.
“The litigation is a transparent attempt to circumvent an ongoing, state mandated, legislatively promulgated administrative review process” said Triple Five spokesman Alan Marcus.
The American Dream project, previously known as Xanadu, includes a mega mall, entertainment center, and indoor ski park. It has stalled several times due to lack of financial backing since 2009. Canada-based developer Triple Five Group stepped in at the end of 2010 and proposed an expansion of the project to include indoor amusement and water parks.
The New York teams speculate that American Dream may have some undefined future adverse impact on them. The teams defended their lawsuit in a statement, saying: “Just as Triple Five left us with no choice but to file suit to protect our rights and our fans, they now leave us with no choice but to defend against this meritless motion to dismiss. We are disappointed with their continued refusal to work with the teams and New Jersey state officials to reach a compromise to avoid the traffic and safety issues that would come from adding thousands of additional cars on game days.”
Assembly panel to consider casino gambling in the Meadowlands
Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Chairman Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. on Thursday announced his committee will hold a July 19 hearing to discuss the prospect of bringing casino gaming to the Meadowlands.
The Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee will meet on Thursday, July 19 at 12 p.m. in the Hambletonian Room at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford. The committee will hear testimony from invited speakers on the prospect of gaming at the Meadowlands.
“We need to at least discuss the potential for casino-style gaming in North Jersey and its potential to create jobs and economic growth and position New Jersey’s gaming industry to better compete against other states,” said Ramos (D-Hoboken).
“Ignoring the fact the out-of-state competition exists is foolhardy. Expanding gaming options to the Meadowlands could strengthen New Jersey against that competition that has already lured customers away. Any option to bring additional revenue and create jobs deserves careful consideration, and this is where the discussion starts.”
“The reality is that Atlantic City is losing many of its North Jersey customers to newly-opened casinos in Pennsylvania and New York,” said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), a member of the panel and longtime advocate of expanding gaming to North Jersey. “We ignore that fact at our own peril. Pennsylvania recently surpassed New Jersey to become the second-largest casino market in the country behind Las Vegas. Bringing gaming to the Meadowlands can help us reclaim the market and bring back much-needed revenue to New Jersey. Starting this discussion is common sense.”
No bills will be considered at the hearing, but Caputo is sponsoring legislation (ACR53) asking voters whether to amend the state Constitution to allow the establishment and operation of casinos in Bergen County.