A Drone Flew Over American Dream In New Jersey And Captured Mesmerizing Footage

We all know that the “American Dream” mall has become somewhat of an American Nightmare. The project got its start all the way back in 1994 but over 25 years later, the site still hasn’t had a single customer. The complex was to be known as Meadowlands Mills and would be comprised of 2.1 million square feet of retail space, a hotel, and 1 million square feet of office space on 206 acres. This plan did not pan out, and evolved into what would be known as Xanadu.

Set to be “a new standard for bringing lifestyle, recreation, sports and family entertainment offerings together in one location,” Xanadu was proposed in 2002. Ground broke in 2004 with an expected opening in 2006. In 2009, when the complex was approximately 80 percent complete, construction came to a halt. Lenders backed out and the structure itself gained notoriety for being an eyesore. You may remember it looking something like this…

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Things have changed, for the better. In 2011, Triple Five Group breathed new life into the project. Experienced mall developers, they renovated the structure and set an opening date in 2014. Changes to the project included an expansion to 3 million square feet, an 8.5-acre indoor glass-domed amusement park, water parks, and an ice skating rink. The ski slope would remain. Of course, bonds fell through, construction was delayed and the mall is not yet open. Here’s what we can expect:

  • 450 retail shops
  • 6 anchor retail tenants with more than 50,000 square feet
  • 12 major retailers (20,000 to 50,000 square feet)
  • 339 smaller shops (up to 20,000 square feet)
  • More than 100 eateries21 full-service restaurants
  • 45 specialty food retailers
  • 18-vendor food court, including a kosher food hall (38,000 square feet)
  • Indoor ice rink (NHL-sized)
  • Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park
  • DreamWorks Water Park – A year-round indoor water park
  • Concert hall – 2,400–3,000 seat performing arts and concert venue
  • Indoor ski slope
  • Miniature 18-hole golf course
  • CMX premium dine-in cinema
  • KidZania
  • Lucky Strike bowling alley
  • Legoland Discovery Center
  • Sea Life Aquarium
  • Observation Wheel

The current opening date is set for late 2019, despite recent news that the mall would open in April. If you’re interested to see what the complex currently looks like, check out this incredible video from NJ.com, uploaded to YouTube in March. It’s just a minute long: