NJ’s American Dream Mega-Mall Bucks Mall Vacancy Trend

retail mega mall

The highly anticipated American Dream Mall (ADM) in New Jersey will hold its last opening day celebration in March with almost 100 percent of its 3.3 million square feet fully leased out to retail, food and entertainment tenants, Bloomberg reported on Monday (Jan. 6). 

The mall’s third developer, the Triple Five Group of Canada, held three partial openings — Oct. 25 with Nickelodeon Universe and an ice skating rink; Nov. 27 with Dreamworks Water Park; and Dec. 5 with the indoor ski and snowboard park. The remaining opening day will take place in March with the opening of about 450 businesses. 

ADM has said that its attractions — like Nickelodeon Universe with two record-holding roller coasters, and DreamWorks Water Park — will help the mega-mall sidestep the retail closings that have haunted other shopping centers. Proximity to New York City is another advantage ADM has over other facilities. Less than 50 percent of malls in the U.S. are expected to remain in business, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. 

North America’s first indoor snow sports center is at ADM, as well as a National Hockey League‐sized ice skating and hockey facility and Angry Birds 18‐hole miniature golf. Also opening is a Coca-Cola social lounge; Legoland Discovery Center; Sea Life Aquarium; CMX luxury movie theater; Kidzania role-playing experience for kids; observation wheel; performing arts center; and more than 100 dining and specialty eateries with more than 20 full-service restaurants.

Triple Five also owns the two largest shopping and entertainment centers in North America — Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall, which draw nearly 70 million visitors annually. The company is also developing the American Dream Miami.

“American Dream brings its guests an unrivaled destination for style and fun. Its unique mix of entertainment (55 percent) and experiential retail (45 percent) will welcome and entertain guests, embracing everyone in a new retail and entertainment revolution, where everything is possible,” Ken Downing, chief creative officer for Triple Five Group, said in a July press release.

New Jersey’s malls are aiming to find ways to differentiate themselves with the opening of the ADM. Triple Five said it is forecasting 40 million annual visitors after the East Rutherford mall is fully operational.


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