The Wall Street Journal had a fascinating story recently about Triple Five Group cutting a deal with Deutsche Bank AG to provide a $700 million loan to jumpstart the troubled America Dream Meadowlands megamall project.
Triple Five, of course, is the Canadian owner of the Mall of America in Bloomington. The Meadowlands mall in northern New Jersey was originally called Xanadu and was envisioned as a giant retail complex. But the project stalled in 2009 and has been idle ever since.
Triple Five's Ghermezian family is the third developer to try to make the 3 million-square-foot behemoth work. Investors have already sunk $1.9 billion into the project, the Journal reports. Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said Deutsche Bank's infusion will go a long way toward funding the needed $1.7 billion-plus needed to complete the complex.
The project includes an amusement park and indoor ski slope. Triple Five plans to "take control of the site within weeks."
If successful, Triple Five plans to import the retail-entertainment template used at the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall, the Journal said. A Triple Five official says there are lots of malls in New Jersey, but this one, if realized, will fill a niche for tourists and shoppers in search of entertainment, as well.
But retail guru Paco Underhill offered a bit of skepticism: How many IMAX theaters are needed within a 10-mile radius?
From the Star Tribune's Point of Sale blog: startribune.com/pointofsale