Commercial Real Estate & Advisory

Developer Of $3B Meadowlands Mall In Talks For Big Leases

By Kaitlin Ugolik | August 29, 2013

The developer of the $3 billion American Dream Meadowlands mall and amusement park in New Jersey is close to reaching a number of significant deals with anchor tenants, celebrity chefs and restaurateurs at the planned development, broker Michael Glanzberg of Sinvin Real Estate said Wednesday.

News of the leases, which are expected to rival in size many of Manhattan’s largest retail spaces, comes just weeks after Triple Five took full control of the Meadowlands property from the lenders of a previous developer who abandoned the unfinished project.

Glanzberg, whose firm has been tapped to help secure leases for the nearly 3-million-square-foot development, declined to share with Law360 the names of the potential new tenants Wednesday, but Sinvin has posted several articles on its website that suggest Uniqlo Co. Ltd., Topshop, Forever 21, and Zara are among them.

“I can only confirm that Sinvin, along with Triple Five’s internal leasing staff and [Triple Five President] Don Ghermezian personally have reached deals with junior anchors, major celebrity chefs and restaurateurs for large-scale concepts, as well as a range of unique luxury brands that will offer a range of shopping and experience that will be … dynamic and immersive and cutting-edge,” Glanzberg said.

Zara and Forever 21 will reportedly be two of the large-scale luxury brands to take space at the hulking development, with Zara taking about 50,000 square feet — one of the store’s largest locations in the world — and Forever 21 taking space that will be about as big, if not bigger, than its 100,000-square-foot store in Times Square, sources told Crains and Real Estate Weekly.

The finished product, though details remain unclear, will not be a “one-dimensional experience,” Glanzberg told Law360.

“It will be shopping as excursion and discovery, a progression of a customer’s experience from skiing in summer to waveboarding in winter to experiencing their beloved brands with a level of physicality and technological interaction that quite simply will set American Dream in a league of its own,” he said.

Earlier this month, Triple Five formally took control of the one-time Xanadu property after months of negotiation, moving the project one step closer to beginning construction, though the company has yet to designate a specific start date.

“It lets us move ahead with financing; it lets us move ahead to sign leases,” Triple Five spokesman Alan Marcus told Law360 at the time.

Now that several leases are on their way to being signed, another hurdle remains: an ongoing lawsuit over the project brought by the New York Giants and Jets.

On Tuesday, a New Jersey judge refused to dismiss the state court lawsuit, ruling that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority couldn’t decide whether it breached a 2006 agreement requiring the teams’ consent if a change of plans to the Meadowlands site would adversely affect their rights involving nearby MetLife Stadium.

The teams in May accused the NJSEA of breaching the cooperation agreement and Triple Five of interference, but the defendants shot back with a dismissal request, arguing that the matter belonged in appellate court as a challenge to the final decision of a state agency. However, Bergen County Chancery Judge Peter Doyne stressed Tuesday that a party can’t determine whether it breached its own contract.

Judge Doyne on Monday encouraged the parties to try to settle the dispute in mediation. If they can’t, he said the court hopes to resolve within one year of the case’s filing.