A new report suggests that construction work on the American Dream Meadowlands mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey is set to resume, bringing a new Dreamworks theme park closer to reality.
The project to build a mall in East Rutherford was originally approved in late 2003, when it was known as Meadowlands Xanadu. The exterior was completed in 2008, with a significant amount of interior work having also been undertaken. However, work ceased in May 2009 after a subsidiary of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers investment bank missed payments, causing other backers to pull out.
However, NorthJersey.com takes an extensive look at the current status of the project, suggesting that developer Triple Five could be ready to resume construction work as early as this month. The report cites a statement from Governor Christie at a gathering of unionized laborers in December, in which he predicted that work would resume in January 2013.
In July 2012, Dreamworks Animation struck a deal with Triple Five to bring an indoor theme park to the mall, boasting rides and shows based on popular franchises including Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. At the time, the developer hoped that the park could debut alongside the mall in 2014, but this timetable appears to be unlikely following a further six months of stagnation.
At the time of the announcement, there were a still number of obstacles to overcome before construction work on the theme park could begin, including securing finance and planning permission. It is not yet clear whether the park will be part of the round of construction predicted by Governor Christie.
DreamWorks has previously licensed its characters for use in individual theme park attractions, such as the Shrek 4-D shows at Universal Studios theme parks. It also agreed to license its properties for use in a park that would have formed part of the ambitious Dubailand project, but this deal collapsed following the 2008 credit crunch.