Xanadu / American Dream Meadowlands

2476 CLUI photo.Under construction for nearly a decade, Xanadu was to be the largest entertainment, sports, and retail complex in the country. Ground was broken for the project in 2004. In 2009, with about 80% of it complete, and nearly $2 billion spent, financing fell apart and construction was halted. The unfinished complex is topped by what was to be the nation’s only indoor ski slope. Other features were to include a 26-screen movie theater, bumpercars, laser tag, megastores, and a 300-foot tall Pepsi-emblazoned Ferris wheel next to the turnpike. For two years the 2.5 million square foot building was scorned as one the nation’s largest retail failures, and called “the ugliest building in America” by the governor of New Jersey. But the project was too big to fail. A new plan, announced in mid-2011 would make this the largest mall in the world, with 7.5 million square feet of retail space. The new name: American Dream Meadowlands.

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