New Jersey's version of the Mall of America is well on its way, with WWD reporting a much-delayed opening date of "late summer 2017" along with a new tenant: Saks Off Fifth. That makes sense, considering that parent company Hudson's Bay Company is planting both Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue at the shopping center/amusement park known as American Dream.
"It's the only project in the world to have all three of those brands," Don Ghermezian, president of mall development company Triple Five, told the paper. Added Hudson's Bay CEO Jerry Storch: "We appeal to a broad range of consumers...[and] because this center is so large, we can operate on several levels." Off Fifth is also headed to the Financial District and Sunset Park.
Nowhere in this article was FAO Schwarz mentioned; the iconic toy store, which moved out of its Fifth Avenue space in July and is now homeless after plans to move to Times Square fell through (though now it might link up with Toys 'R' Us), had been listed as a mall tenant by a local New Jersey website back in December. In fact, there aren't any other confirmed retail tenants aside from Hudson's Bay properties at the moment, but Ghermezian said that "European designer brands that have very few stores in the market" will fill up some of the retail spots, of which there could be as many as 100 (that sounds similar to the plans at Empire Outlets).
But considering what else is headed to American Dream, shopping is secondary. Once it's completed, the site will include an amusement park, a water park, a miniature golf course, an indoor ski slope, a massive ice-skating rink, an aquarium, an observation wheel (again, sounds familiar), 16 restaurants, and two food falls. All in all, it will be bigger than the Mall of America.