SBD/Issue 57/Facilities & Venues

NJSEA Approves Developers Agreement For Xanadu Project

Indoor Mini-F1 Circuit Among
Planned Attractions For Xanadu

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority has approved plans by Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty to build the $1.3B Xanadu entertainment and retail complex at the Meadowlands, according to Matthew Futterman of the Newark STAR-LEDGER, who notes the developers "plan to break ground in the spring." The Meadowlands Commission still "must approve the project after an environmental hearing," and the NJSEA must prevail in a lawsuit filed by developer Hartz Mountain Industries alleging that the NJSEA "violated its charter and the state's open public meetings law when it awarded" Mills/Mack-Cali the contract. NJSEA Chair Carl Goldberg said that the 75-year lease requires the developers to pay $160M next year "to cover the first 15 years of lease payments." In 2019, the developer "would begin annual payments totaling some $75[M] by 2029. After that, payments rise each year according to the consumer price index" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 12/4). The AP's Steve Strunsky noted dissenters "worry traffic problems will worsen in an area already congested by commuters and sports fans filing into" the Meadowlands. NJSEA board member Raymond Bateman, who cast one of two "no" votes, said, "When Giants Stadium is filled to capacity, ... it will be absolute gridlock" (AP, 12/4).

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