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Xanadu News Clips
Xanadu Overview
[Link] to original proposals

New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority [NJSEA] · Xanadu web site

The following information has appeared in various media

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Source: The Record, October 14, 2004

Sierra Club sues over Xanadu

The New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club joined another club on Wednesday - the one whose members have each sued the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority over the $1.3 billion Xanadu project.

Jeff Tittel, the executive director of the Sierra Club chapter, said his group's suit in the Appellate Division of state Superior Court seeks to halt construction on Xanadu until sufficient traffic, parking, air quality and wetlands analyses are performed. The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and Environmental Defense joined in the suit.

Secaucus-based Hartz Mountain Industries has been in litigation for 18 months over the selection of Mills/Mack-Cali's plan to build a 5 million-square-foot entertainment, retail, hotel and office complex on the Continental Arena site. The town of Carlstadt filed its own suit against the project early this month. Both suits protest the amount of retail at Xanadu, among other features.

"Xanadu is a nightmare for the residents of northern New Jersey, and it'll be the taxpayers who have to shoulder the costs of the traffic, air pollution and water degradation that this project will cause," Tittel said. "We're not saying they can't build it, but we are saying that the state has to do things right."

The Sierra Club suit further stoked bitterness between Tittel and sports authority President George Zoffinger and Bill Sheehan, who is the Hackensack Riverkeeper and chairman of the Meadowlands Conservation Trust.

Zoffinger accused Tittel of filing the suit as a publicity stunt.

"We care about the environment just as much as Jeff Tittel does," Zoffinger said. "This is an attempt by him to get publicity, after not being involved at all in the process. He's also getting funded by Hartz on this issue."

The latter charge outraged Tittel.

"He's a liar," Tittel said. "First of all, we don't take any corporate money, so that's a despicable charge. He should be fired. I haven't even talked to Hartz."

Hartz spokesman Ron Simoncini backed Tittel.

"We don't have one dime in that lawsuit," he said. "They filed it independently."

Zoffinger also contended that by filing the suit, Tittel was endangering the preservation of the Empire Tract, a 587-acre piece of land that is to be donated to the state as part of the Xanadu deal. The sports authority paid $26.8 million last week to acquire the site and turn it over to Sheehan's Meadowlands Conservation Trust.

According to Zoffinger, if Mills Corp. was denied a chance to develop on the Continental Arena site, it might be able to receive a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to build a megamall on the Empire Tract. Mills would be able to show there were no alternative sites for development, Zoffinger said.

But Tittel responded that the Army Corps "would never grant that permit," because of such problems as insufficient roads around the site and the amount of wetlands that would have to be filled.

"Zoffinger is in bed with Mills, and he doesn't care what happens to the taxpayers," Tittel said. "This is the biggest pay-to-play project the state has ever seen."

Sheehan said that after several years of battling to stop Mills from developing the Empire Tract, he thought last week's tentative sale of the land had ended that saga.

"I'm agitated because this potentially could skew the whole deal," said Sheehan, who has drawn fire from Tittel over his alliance with Mills. "A couple of years ago, I figured that Mills could never get a permit for the Empire Tract. But with this [Bush] administration in Washington, which will be there at least until January, they could get a permit from the corps in no time."

Tittel said that the Environmental Protection Agency has criticized the project for the lack of traffic and air quality studies.

"The Bush administration is being more environmentally friendly here than the McGreevey administration," Tittel said.

Mills spokesman Bob Sommer said that Tittel was off base.

"The process that they complain about was remarkably open, with all issues fairly aired," Sommer said. "The Sierra Club wants a process that goes their way all the time, and if they don't get their way, they sue."

Tittel predicted an addition of 100,000 cars per day near the Xanadu site once the project is completed, which he said would lead to gridlock. Zoffinger countered that infrastructure and transportation projects - funded by the developers, the Port Authority, and state and federal sources - would prevent that from happening.

Source: The Record, October 14, 2004

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Source: KYW-TV Philadelphia Web site

DEP OKs Meadowlands entertainment project as town sues to stop it
Saturday October 02, 2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The latest opinions on the plan to makeover the Meadowlands are mixed: The DEP relaxed pollution rules before signing off on the $1.3 billion Xanadu sports entertainment complex Friday, the same day the town of Carlstadt filed suit to stop the project.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell said it would be unfair to hold developers of the 5-million-square-foot complex responsible for all potential pollution increases in the Hackensack River from the Bergen County Utilities Authority.

``The BCUA accepts approximately 75 million gallons of wastewater a day from a range of industrial, commercial, and residential sources,'' Campbell said, noting that any combination of those could be responsible for raising pollution, The Record of Bergen County reported.

Campbell also agreed with site developers Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali that an on-site wastewater treatment plant would not be practical.

Xanadu is a massive redevelopment project planned for the Meadowlands sports complex that includes an indoor ski slope, minor league baseball stadium, Formula 1-style auto racing, movie theaters and sports themed restaurants, bars and shops.

Campbell signed off on the project after easing the rules, which drew ire from environmentalists.

Ed Lloyd of the Columbia Environmental Law Clinic questioned whether Campbell had the authority to undo provisions contained in a hearing officers' report issued last month by state Meadowlands Commission Executive Director Robert Celerio and DEP official Gary Sondermeyer.

Officials in Carlstadt, meanwhile, filed suit to block the project based on claims that it would be an illegal high-tech shopping mall.

The suit asserts that the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority does not have the right to allow retail development on its land or grant tax exemptions to Xanadu.

The suit seeks financial damages for removal of a 587-acre parcel from Carlstadt's tax rolls.

That tract, bought by the developers and slated for conservation as open space, was once identified by Mills as the site of a planned shopping mall. That project fell through because of opposition from environmentalists and residents, and when the sports authority asked for bids to redevelop the Meadowlands site, Mills shifted gears and began planning to build there.

Carlstadt officials say the amount the sports authority is offering as compensation for lost tax revenue is ridiculously low

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Source: KYW-TV Philadelphia Web site
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Source: www.NJ.com

Meadowlands panel OKs Xanadu plan

Friday, August 27, 2004
BY GEORGE E. JORDAN Star-Ledger Staff

Over protests from a competing developer, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission yesterday endorsed a $1.3 billion makeover of the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford to be built by Mills Corp. and Mack-Cali Realty.

The commission approved a 60-page report that recommends the builders address 14 deficiencies in the traffic and environmental plan for Xanadu, envisioned as a vast retail and entertainment complex.

The report recommends the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and various federal and state agencies that must issue permits for Xanadu require Mills/ Mack-Cali to conduct more traffic studies, fund expensive roadway improvements and take steps to protect environmentally sensitive wetlands.

Meadowlands Commissioner Susan Bass Levin, who is also state community affairs commissioner, said the recommendations "send a message to the developer and other agencies: 'Be sure to protect the public.'"

Rival developer Hartz Mountain Industries, which has sued to stop Xanadu, and several major environmental groups protested the commission's 5-0 vote with one abstention. They charged the commission, voting just 48 hours after the release of the report, left little time for public comment.

"What we have here is a very strange, fast-track process," said Allen Magrini, a lawyer for Hartz, an unsuccessful bidder to redevelop the Meadowlands. "The hearing officers point out many deficiencies. ... Let's do it and do it right."

Xanadu, a 4.7 million-square- foot project, would include a major mall, North America's first indoor ski mountain, a spa hotel and conference center, and several office buildings. Mills/Mack-Cali and the Sports Authority have said Xanadu contains about 700,000 square feet of retail space with performance and demonstration areas -- a concept they call "retailtainment."

Mills/Mack-Cali has begun preliminary construction at the site and has scheduled a ceremonial groundbreaking for Sept. 29.

Hartz and environmentalists urged the commission, which began study of Xanadu in April, to withhold their approval to allow 30 days for public comment and to force Mills/Mack-Cali to formally commit to addressing Xanadu's shortcomings.

Levin said agencies that must review Xanadu -- including the state Department of Environmental Protection, state Department of Transportation and Army Corps of Engineers -- have more power than the commission to scrutinize Xanadu and force changes by Mills/Mack-Cali.

Hartz has spent the past 16 months battling the Sports Authority since making an unsuccessful bid in February 2003 to redevelop the site that includes Continental Airlines Arena. The Devils plan to move to Newark and the Nets to Brooklyn.

Hartz filed a lawsuit this month that is pending in state Superior Court in Hackensack. At stake for Hartz is the company's continued domination of the retail and office market it has controlled in the Meadowlands since it began building there 30 years ago.

George E. Jordan can be reached at gjordan@starledger.com or (973) 392-1801.

Source: www.NJ.com

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Source:  www.bigscreen.com

Muvico Theaters Premier Movie-Going Experience
to Be Big 'Entertainment' Player at Meadowlands Xanadu


Rooftop Terrace To Feature One-of-a-Kind 60-Foot Screen For Outdoor Movie Viewing, Full-Service Bar and Menu, Plus Helipad and Private Access For Exclusive Engagements

October 2004 (Newstream)-Muvico Theaters, Inc. and The Mills Corporation jointly announced that industry leader Muvico Theaters will build a 26-screen, 6,500-seat 160,000-square-foot megaplex movie theater at Meadowlands Xanadu, the 4.8 million-square-foot family entertainment, shopping and office complex in Northern New Jersey. Megaplex plans include a Premier Level with nine balcony auditoriums and a full-service restaurant and bar plus a 15,000 square foot rooftop terrace featuring a 60-foot outdoor screen for outdoor movie viewing with a helipad and private access for VIPs to the Premier Level.

According to Muvico President Hamid Hashemi, the new Muvico Xanadu 26 Theater will be a "key player" at Meadowlands Xanadu, complementing the many family entertainment and brand experiences to be available at the complex as well as the nearby sports venues. Adjacent to the Meadowlands Sports Complex, on the western spur of the New Jersey Turnpike/Interstate 95 (Exit 18W), the new Muvico Xanadu 26 will be located approximately four miles from Manhattan and equidistant from the Lincoln Tunnel and the George Washington Bridge.

Known for delivering grand "bigger than life" theatrical architecture, and movie theater amenities and features unlike any in the world, Muvico will set the stage for unparalleled movie enjoyment for guests at its new Meadowlands Xanadu venue. As Muvico Theaters does in all its megaplexes in Florida, Maryland and Tennessee, the innovative movie circuit will indulge its Meadowlands Xanadu guests with a total entertainment experience from the moment they arrive...bringing back the "big event" experience enjoyed by the great movie palaces of the '20s and '30s.

The new megaplex will feature an elaborately themed lobby and an expansive concession stand with exceptional offerings; state-of-the-art technology; wall-to-wall screens; Dolby digital surround sound; stadium-seating with spacious custom rocking seats and 46" row spacing to offer enough room to walk between aisles; and well-trained staff providing Muvico's award-winning signature friendly service.

"Being an integral part of the Xanadu environs is one of our most exciting opportunities," noted Hashemi. "We look forward to working with The Mills on this precedent-setting destination that is sure to quickly become an international entertainment icon. Our plans are big...our commitment strong."

Hashemi added that Muvico Xanadu 26 will feature valet parking, the ability to buy and print assigned seat tickets on-line at www.muvico.com, plus Muvico's exclusive in-theater supervised children's playroom-an industry first-that gives parents on-the-go a chance to catch a film and not worry about last-minute challenge of finding a babysitter. Located on-site for convenient drop-off, Muvico's children's playroom features a fun, "kid friendly" themed environment that includes such amenities as a computer zone, a reading corner, an arts and crafts space, a science area, a free play spot and assorted play activity areas. For peace of mind, parents receive I.D. wrist bands (matching the ones their children receive) and a beeper for immediate notification.

Muvico Theaters expanded concession stand menu includes freshly prepared lite meals such as crispy chicken breasts, fresh baked pizza, and popcorn shrimp among other concession fare.

Muvico Xanadu guests-ages 21 and older-will be able to "wine, dine, and watch movies" all at the same time in the Premier Level full-service restaurant, bar and it's nine ultra deluxe balcony auditoriums with stadium-seating and oversized love seats located on the second floor of the theater. "Our total Premier Level entertainment concept is another industry first and truly takes dinner and a movie to the ultimate level," notes Hashemi. He added that this amenity will be patterned after its successful Muvico Premier Level bistro, bar and theaters in its Boca Raton-based Muvico Palace 20, where the Premier level is a unique on-site seamless blend of cinema and culinary fare where guests may indulge on-site in a full-service dinner complete with wine and/or cocktails before, after or during their movie. Innovative specialty dishes are rotated seasonally to keep the restaurant's ample menu interesting, and the friendly staff is trained to be conscious of diners' movie schedules.

Hashemi also noted that businesses seeking new and exciting ways to energize and motivate their management and staff or educate/entertain their clients will find Muvico's unique movie/dining combination an ideal upscale venue for hosting a variety of events, from board meetings, employee training sessions, and customer presentations, product launches and premieres to networking events, news conferences, holiday parties and sales incentives. Poised to accommodate businesses of all sizes and types in a private-club-like grand balcony setting, Muvico Xanadu 26 will offer flexibility with a variety of meeting rooms with full audio-visual technology as well as the ability to reserve the rooftop outdoor screen with on-site full-service catering.

For Premier Level guests with more limited time, a full-service bar offers the full restaurant menu as well. In addition, two separate premium concession stands will offer Premier moviegoers the traditional popcorn and candy, along with fresh daily sushi selections; freshly prepared gourmet sandwiches, pizzas and salads; crab and artichoke dip; desserts; draft beer, wine and splits of champagne.

Every Premier Level balcony has stadium-style seating, Muvico's custom-designed, sumptuous, single and double rocking (love seat-style) sofas and state-of-the-art visual and audio technology, that allows Premier Level moviegoers to screen the latest films-while enjoying a cocktail or dessert and coffee-in ultimate comfort. Premier level guests will enjoy a unique combination of private-club-like gathering, full-service bar, private dining room, and the ultimate in luxurious and state-of-the-art movie screening experiences.

According to Hashemi, the colossal rooftop terrace screen will be complete with state-of-the-art projection and sound system optimized for outdoor movie viewing. Ideal for high level private engagements the rooftop terrace area will feature its own open-air full-service bar and concession stand serving freshly prepared meal fare. A private helicopter pad, conveniently set adjacent to the rooftop terrace, will provide easy access for arrivals by celebrities, dignitaries and other VIP attendees to the Premier Level.

"As an innovator in theater design and comfort, we at Muvico Theaters take a boutique approach to each project, with the goal of making each unique-not to mention a fun and breathtaking place to see a movie," added Hashemi. "Muvico Xanadu 26 will allow us to 'raise the bar' on megaplex entertainment, amenities, features and guest service once more."

The Mills Corporation is a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Arlington, Virginia that owns, develops, leases, manages and markets a portfolio of 27 retail and entertainment destinations totaling approximately 34 million square feet. Currently, the Company has eight projects under construction or development around the world. The Company's Internet address is www.themills.com.

Fort Lauderdale-based Muvico Theaters presently operates 12 theaters with 233 screens in Florida, Maryland and Tennessee with 126 additional screens in various stages of development across the eastern United States. Muvico Theaters is headquartered at 3101 North Federal Highway, 6th Floor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 3306-1042. For more information, visit www.muvico.com

Source:  www.bigscreen.com
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Source: www.intix.org

New Jersey Sports Authority Approves Lease for Xanadu

The New York Times -- 10/05/2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Oct. 4 - The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority gave the go-ahead on Monday to an ambitious, privately developed $1.3 billion sports and entertainment complex abutting the Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands.

The project, known as Meadowlands Xanadu, will spread across 106 acres and feature a year-round indoor ski jump, a mini Formula One racing oval, an indoor wave pool and a 35-screen movie theater billed as the nation's largest.

The authority voted 8 to 0, with one abstention, to approve a 175-year lease with the project's developers, the Mills Corporation, a mall developer based in Arlington, Va.; Mack-Cali Realty of Cranford, N.J.; and KanAm, a real estate firm based in Germany. The action followed three years of debate over the project, which had been strongly supported by Gov. James E. McGreevey.

Under the deal, the state will receive a total of $160 million in nine installments from the developers, which will be used to retire the arena's outstanding debt. The lease also requires the developers to sell 600 acres of wetlands to the state for $26 million. The Mills Corporation had hoped to use the land to develop a shopping mall but dropped that plan in the face of vigorous opposition. The land will instead be preserved as wetlands.

The agreement also calls for the developers to contribute $65 million for road improvements and the construction of a rail spur to the Meadowlands sporting sites, and $12 million in annual payments in lieu of taxes to the 14 towns in the Meadowlands area that will be affected by traffic and other disruptions.

The governor, who attended the authority's meeting, called the action a "momentous occasion in the life of the state." He said the project represented a grand vision that would provide an economic engine for the surrounding area.

Despite the euphoria in the authority's boardroom on Monday, George R. Zoffinger, the authority's president and executive director, noted that a lawsuit brought by unsuccessful bidders could derail the project. Hartz Mountain Industries and the Westfield Group claim that the bid process was improper and that the Xanadu proposal violated bid requirements that the project not be a mall. If a court blocks the project between now and April 2005, the lease allows the developers to cancel the deal and recoup their initial lease payment but not money spent on construction.

Critics of the deal, including Hartz officials, call it a giveaway of tax dollars. They noted that the state was paying the Mills Corporation $26 million for the wetlands even though it was highly unlikely the company would have been allowed to build its proposed mall.

The leases held by the Giants, Jets, Nets and Devils would require that Xanadu negotiate arrangements to make sure its activities and those of the teams do not conflict.

"I think they should put a big dry cleaners in their mall because they have just taken the taxpayers to the cleaners," Jeff Tittel, director of the Sierra Club of New Jersey, said. "With the state paying for most of the needed transportation and road improvements and picking up the tab for all of the problems down the road, this is the most one-sided deal since we got Manhattan for $24."

The project's developers said the complex could open as early as 2006. The pace of the project has already outstripped the proposed development of an arena in Newark, the plan that gave birth to Xanadu. When the owners of the Nets and the Devils proposed building a new arena in Newark in 2000, Bergen County residents cried foul over the potential loss of jobs and taxes. Gov. Christie Whitman, then her successor Donald T. DiFrancesco and finally Mr. McGreevey vowed to build the Newark arena, but not without giving Bergen County residents a replacement development at the Meadowlands site.

As the Meadowlands planning began in 2000, the Newark arena got bogged down in financing fights and state politics. The Nets then decamped to Brooklyn, and the Devils were sold to new owners. As the Meadowlands Xanadu deal was being signed on Monday, Newark was still in the process of condemning land for the proposed arena, negotiating lease terms with the Devils and fending off prickly opposition from the City Council.

James F. Dausch, president of Mills's development division, provided the sports authority with new details about the tenants and activities planned for the complex.

Mr. Dausch said the complex would include a child-size city, a digital playground, television studio, indoor sky-diving and ski jumping, a cooking school and theme-oriented tenants like Nickelodeon, Fox Sports, House of Blues and Nascar.

While there would be retail areas related to the theme-related spaces, he said, "this doesn't make it a mall any more that having feathers makes a duck a chicken."

Source: www.intix.org
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Source: www.firsttrackonline.com

Meadowlands Xanadu Unveils First Wave of Major Tenants

Arlington, VA (Tuesday, October 5, 2004) - The Mills Corporation today unveiled 23 initial tenants and consumer brand, entertainment and dining experiences at Meadowlands Xanadu, the highly-anticipated sports, leisure, family entertainment, shopping, hotel and office complex scheduled to feature the first indoor snow skiing venue in North America. In total, these offerings represent more than one million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA) and account for 48% of Meadowlands Xanadu's total GLA being already committed.

The Mills, in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (CLI) and KanAm, and in cooperation with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, also celebrated the closing of the land lease for Meadowlands Xanadu as the partners presented a ceremonial $160 million check, representing an upfront payment for the first 15 years of the development lease, to New Jersey Governor James E. McGreevey and other state officials.

Meadowlands Xanadu will fuse consumer brand experiences, entertainment, restaurant and retail offerings within five distinct lifestyle districts: Sports; Entertainment; Fashion; Children's Education; and Food & Home.

The Mills Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Laurence C. Siegel said, "Today we take important steps toward making Meadowlands Xanadu a reality. The execution of our land lease and the announcement of the first of what will be an unparalleled collection of world-class consumer experiences are clear demonstrations that Meadowlands Xanadu is well on its way to becoming the country's most exciting consumer destination."

Governor McGreevey added, "Meadowlands Xanadu will be a key driver in the economic growth of this region and the entire state of New Jersey. It is one of the most significant construction projects in New Jersey's history and will create more than 20,000 construction jobs and 20,000 permanent jobs for the region, delivering billions of dollars annually in personal income."

Visitors to the Sports District will enjoy the ultimate skybox experience. Sports fans will be able to watch live television remotes for their favorite NFL pre-game show and participate in tailgating parties, contests and events featuring favorite athletes. The focus of the district will be the 250,000-square-foot Snow Dome, where ski enthusiasts will enjoy ski conditions all year round at North America's first indoor ski slope on snow.

Within this district, thrill-seekers also will experience the rush of skydiving at SkyVenture, a state-of-the-art skydiving simulator and vertical wind tunnel, while speedsters experience the exhilaration of European racecar driving at F1, an indoor race-kart facility. To round out the experience, outdoors lovers will enjoy live fishing demonstrations, indoor archery and boating lessons at the 175,000-square-foot Cabela's, the outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear.

Designed by the architecture firm Rockwell Group, the exterior of the family entertainment destination at Meadowlands Xanadu will be a collection of sleek, silver and turquoise buildings accented by spectacular features including a 140-foot-tall wedge to accommodate the Alpine ski slope that will double as a giant sculpture and a 5,000-foot-long rooftop rollercoaster.

"Today is truly a historic event for the State of New Jersey," said Carl Goldberg, chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. "Meadowlands Xanadu will redefine land use paradigms and will be a world-class entertainment and sports venue like nothing this nation has ever seen. The dynamic attractions and compelling programming to be featured at Meadowlands Xanadu will provide significant entertainment options for those living in and visiting the Metropolitan area."

KanAm and its investors already have funded more than $170,000,000 and have fully subscribed the $250,000,000 that it committed to last December.

Source: www.firsttrackonline.com
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Source: NJ Governor James McGreevy Press Release dated October 5, 2004

Governor McGreevey Signs Lease for Xanadu Development

$1.3 billion project will bring family entertainment features, available nowhere else in the world, to the Meadowlands

(EAST RUTHERFORD) – Governor James E. McGreevey today cleared the way for development of the ambitious Xanadu project at the Meadowlands, by signing a ground lease agreement with representatives of the Mills / Mack-Cali development team.

“People have dreamed about the Meadowlands for years, as a place that could bring great economic opportunities to this region and all of New Jersey. Today, finally, those dreams are becoming action,” Governor McGreevey said.

“The Xanadu project will offer types of family entertainment that, quite literally, can be found nowhere else – from a Sports District that will outdo any fan’s dreams of the ultimate tailgate party; to a Food District that will offer live cooking classes by celebrity chefs; to a Children’s Education district; to high-fashion runway shows; to America’s first snow dome for indoor skiing,” the Governor said.

“The economic benefits are at least as important. Xanadu will generate 21,155 construction jobs over six years; nearly 20,000 permanent, full-time jobs by 2012; and $12 million a year in property tax relief for the 450,000 residents of the Meadowlands region,” the Governor continued.

“By balancing this growth with our efforts to protect open space and sources of water, we are creating a model for the way smart growth should be done.”

Governor McGreevey signed the land lease at a public event, at the Continental Airlines Arena site at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. He was joined by George Zoffinger and Carl Goldberg, respectively the President and Chairman of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority; Laurence C. Siegel, Chairman and CEO of The Mills Corporation; Mitchell E. Hersh, President and CEO of the Mack-Cali Realty Corporation; James Braithwaite, President of Kan Am Realty; and other officials.

Construction of the Xanadu project’s 2 million square foot entertainment section should be complete in about two years. That work will be followed by construction of Xanadu’s hotel and office buildings.

Today’s event revealed details of Xanadu’s entertainment section, which will include:

·        A Sports District designed to be the “ultimate skybox” for fans. It will include a barbecue area overlooking a three-story digital display of sports events and scores; indoor car racing with real cars; virtual skydiving; live fishing demonstrations; indoor archery; and a TV production and broadcast studio.

·        An Entertainment District, with a “digital playground” that will let visitors experience the newest high-tech entertainment products, from digital music devices to games – before anyone else. This district will also feature a 23-screen movie theater with cutting-edge technology, a bowling alley and more.

·        A Fashion District, in which hosts such as Elle Magazine will present live runway shows, bringing the glamour of Europe and New York to the Meadowlands.

·        A Children’s Education District, featuring the first “indoor role-playing theme park” where children will get a fun experience of different types of careers, from paleontologist to news reporter.

·         A Food & Home District, in which visitors will attend cooking lessons as they’re broadcast live on television – and hosted by celebrity chefs such as Todd English and Bobby Flay.

·        And America’s first snow dome for indoor skiing.

The Xanadu project’s later phases will include 1.7 million square feet of office space, and 500,000 square feet of hotel space.

Governor McGreevey called Xanadu a perfect component of the State’s and the Meadowland Commission’s vision for the region.

Related efforts include the Meadowlands Master Plan, which calls for the preservation of 8,400 acres of wetlands and waterways while allowing the potential for 25 million square feet of development.

They also include the State’s partnership with EnCap Golf Holdings in the $1.1 billion “Garbage-to-Golf Project.” This environmentally friendly plan, launched in May, will turn more than 700 acres of landfills and blighted land into a golf village at the heart of the Meadowlands District.

“This is how redevelopment should be done. We’re balancing growth with our efforts to protect open space and drinking water. We’re bringing the Meadowlands to its full potential, and creating real economic opportunities in the process,” Governor McGreevey said.

“That is building a better New Jersey.”

Source: NJ Governor James McGreevy Press Release dated October 5, 2004
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Source: Mack-Cali Press Release August 3, 2004

Meadowlands Xanadu Announces
Official Groundbreaking Ceremony Date of September 29, 2004

The Mills Corporation, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and Kan Am to Announce Greatest Collection of Sponsors and Major Tenants at Groundbreaking Ceremony

This press release was sent out by the Mills Corporation. For more information, please contact the person listed at the bottom of release.

Arlington, Va. (August 3, 2004) — The Mills Corporation (NYSE: MLS), a leading developer of innovative retail and entertainment destinations, today announced a September 29, 2004 groundbreaking for Meadowlands Xanadu.

The ultimate sports, leisure, family entertainment and shopping complex in the United States – with an office and hotel component – will be built at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The development is being created by The Mills Corporation, in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (CLI) and Kan Am, and in cooperation with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

The Mills Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Laurence C. Siegel said, “Meadowlands Xanadu is well on its way to becoming a reality. At the groundbreaking ceremony, we will announce in grand style what we view to be the greatest collection of sponsors and major tenants from world-class media, entertainment, sports and retailing brands to ever co-locate at a single venue.”

Kan Am, which has pledged $250 million in equity, already has funded $125 million. “More than $100 million has come in since the beginning of the second quarter, at a rate of nearly $1 million per day,” said James Braithwaite, President, Kan Am Realty, Inc. “This is the most successful raise in the 26-year history of our Kan Am closed–end funds and demonstrates the level of investor confidence in this world-class project.”

Mitchell E. Hersh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mack-Cali, commented, “Today's announcement clearly demonstrates the progress of this unique project. We look forward to attracting leading businesses to Meadowlands Xanadu through our development of prime office and hotel space."

New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority Chairman Carl Goldberg said, “The Meadowlands Xanadu groundbreaking will be the culmination of years of hard work that ultimately will lead to making the Meadowlands Sports Complex one of the country’s premier sports and entertainment destinations.”

About Meadowlands Xanadu Meadowlands Xanadu will be the ultimate sports, leisure, family entertainment and shopping complex in the United States. Rising at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in Northern New Jersey, Meadowlands Xanadu will feature 4.8 million square feet of unprecedented innovation. It will offer visitors of all ages a broad array of engaging experiences, including interactive entertainment venues, fine dining, outdoor amusements, runway fashion shows and its main attraction – America’s first Snow Dome for indoor skiing. Meadowlands Xanadu will also offer a luxury hotel and Class A office buildings.

Meadowlands Xanadu is created by The Mills Corporation in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty Corporation and financing partner Kan Am, and in cooperation with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The project is designed by noted architecture firm The Rockwell Group.

About The Mills Corporation The Mills Corporation is a self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Arlington, Virginia that owns, develops, leases, manages and markets a portfolio of 27 retail and entertainment destinations totaling approximately 34 million square feet. Currently, the Company has eight projects under construction or development around the world. The Company’s Internet address is www.themills.com.

About Mack-Cali Mack-Cali Realty Corporation is a fully-integrated, self-administered, self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) providing management, leasing, development, construction and other tenant-related services for its class A real estate portfolio. Mack-Cali, which has a total market capitalization of approximately $4.9 billion, owns or has interests in 270 properties, primarily office and office/flex buildings located in the Northeast, totaling approximately 30 million square feet. The properties enable the Company to provide a full complement of real estate opportunities to its diverse base of approximately 2,100 tenants. Additional information on Mack-Cali Realty Corporation is available on the Company’s Web site at www.mack-cali.com. About Kan Am Kan Am is a private international real estate company which manages over $6.3 billion in commercial real estate assets in the United States and Europe.

Note to Editors: Information on Meadowlands Xanadu, including a virtual tour of the project, is available at www.meadowlandsxanadu.com. # # #

Contact Information: David Douglass, The Mills Corporation (703) 526-5252  or Virginia Sobol, Vice President, Marketing & Public Relations, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (908) 272-8000

Source: Mac-Cali Press Release August 3, 2004
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Source: www.planetark.com  World Environment News


New Jersey's Xanadu Faces Stiff Environmental Tests

NEW YORK - Xanadu, a $1.3 billion entertainment complex planned for New Jersey, now faces a stiffer environmental test because two state agencies likely will demand a more in-depth look at how air quality and traffic would be affected.

In addition, Xanadu's visitors and fans who attend the nearby Giants football games could get socked with a new per-ticket surcharge to help fund new mass transit links and improve badly congested roads, according to the state agencies' report released on Tuesday.

Developers Mack-Cali Realty Corp. and Mills Corp. already have promised to pay $65 million to improve the congested area's transportation.

The companies now will have to come up with millions more dollars, mostly to upgrade roads and mass transit, to meet the new requirements, a state official said this week. The state official, who outlined the recommended changes that likely will be approved, declined to be named.

A Xanadu spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

The amount of the new per-ticket surcharge was not specified in the report, though it set a Jan. 15, 2005, deadline for making that determination.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Meadowlands Commission, which oversees the 32-square-mile area located just west of New York, said their joint report "recognized a number of deficiencies in the draft environmental impact statement submitted by the developer and mandated a number of requirements."

RETAIL UNDER THE RADAR

For example, the impact on traffic within a four-mile radius from the site now will be studied, instead of just at Xanadu's entrances and exits. Testing air quality, which could worsen if traffic rises, could include building an on-site monitoring station. And the developers might have to build a wastewater treatment plant.

The report also requires the developers to detail how much retail space they plan to build. This has been a hot subject as a losing bidder, privately held Hartz Mountain Industries, has argued that Xanadu is building more shops than allowed under the laws that govern the site's uses.

Susan Bass Levin, chairman of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, which yesterday will vote on whether to impose the changes outlined in the report, was not immediately available to comment.

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection referred calls to the Meadowlands Commission.

Xanadu also still must be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers and federal aviation officials.

Story by Joan Gralla,  8/27/2004

Source: www.planetark.com  World Environment News


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Source: www.tstc.org  Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Testimony of Damien Newton, Tri-State Transportation Campaign on the Content and Character of the Proposed Meadowlands "Xanadu"  August 9th 2004

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.  I am the New Jersey coordinator for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The Campaign is the region’s leading non-profit consortium of experts, planning organizations, activist and environmental groups concerned with transportation.  Our mission is to achieve an environmentally sound, economically efficient and socially just transportation network and system in the 32 counties in and surrounding New York City.  

There is no doubt that Xanadu will be an enormous economic engine in Bergen County, and because of Xanadu’s proximity to mass transit and populations that are more transit friendly than most, there is a unique opportunity to create a Xanadu which will benefit Northern New Jersey without producing gridlock.

First, we will discuss the character of the transportation infrastructure inside of Xanadu.  After that, we will discuss what improvements need to be made to the transportation system to and from Xanadu and the Meadowlands to be fair to the people of Northern New Jersey.

Internal transportation throughout the Meadowlands is going to be crucial to Xanadu’s ability to herald itself as a “place to be,” as opposed to a place to “drive to, park and leave as soon as the movie, game, etc. is over.”

For this to happen, the developers need to recognize the importance of quality and safe walkways between venues.  A pedestrian environment between and linking the various venues with retail and other attractions, that would include riverfront walkways as well as safe routes to and from the stadium, arena, office park and race track; will be necessary.

An on-site bus station, that provides internal busses connecting the different features with the NJ Transit and private busses that bring people to the project will also be necessary.   If we expect people to take the bus to the office complex, mall, or entertainment center, as much as we would like them to walk from place to place, an unreasonably long walk will end up with people going back to their cars and back on the already congested highways.

As for the needed external improvements to transportation:

We were happy to hear that we learned that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would be providing the $150 million necessary to build, the 1.9-mile rail spur, from the Pascack Valley Line to a new station near Giants Stadium.  However, there was a more direct link from the Pascack Valley Line to the Meadowland that was also proposed that would cost $350 million.   Since the alternate route would be quicker, it would also be used by more people…taking drivers off the roads and easing strain on the roadway network.  Because ultimately it is the developers that will be reaping the profits from Xanadu, we feel they should contribute to making this alternate rail spur a reality.

Other contributions the developer should make to the transportation infrastructure of Northern New Jersey include:

Bus access to the site: Xanadu developers should develop and fund bus rapid transit and regular bus service to the site from NYC, and major centers in Hudson Bergen, and Essex counties. That would require a central Xanadu bus terminal, not minimalist stops at the far edge of huge parking lots.

We also urge the developer and Sports Authority to meet with NJ Transit and private bus carriers to develop a plan for buses to serve the site's central bus terminal.  As you know, the site is not far from North America's busiest bus-only facility (the Lincoln Tunnel Exclusive Bus Lane) and a huge amount of bus traffic passes very close to the site. It should not be that difficult to find routing and schedule arrangements for frequent service both between NYC and the site, and between NJ communities with high bus commuting and general riding populations and the site.  Any roadway changes made to accommodate traffic entering and leaving the site should include plans for significant bus access and egress.

XBL expansion contribution: The developers should contribute to expansion of the Lincoln Tunnel express bus lanes.

Reduce parking supply and cash out parking: The Xanadu developers should encourage transit use to the site by reducing total parking supply, sharing parking between uses, and charging visitors and workers for parking. They should offer cash in lieu of a parking space as an employee perk. The employees could then use this money for transit or parking costs as desired.

Percentage of profit for transit operating costs: Currently, the developers are not required to contribute to plans for a rail link into the Meadowlands-Xanadu site. They should pay half of the construction costs of the link, and allocate a designated portion of their profits to the rail link’s annual operating costs.

Local Aid contribution to the local roadway network: Because of increased wear and tear on local roads from the Xanadu development, Bergen and Hudson counties may be asking for more than their "fair share" of Local Aid from the state DOT. Xanadu developers should make up the difference, but allocating some profits to local aid program

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.  I am available for questions

Source: www.tstc.org  Tri-State Transportation Campaign

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Source: www.cabelas.com   Press Release: East Rutherford, NJ (October 5, 2004)

Cabela's planning to build mega-store
in East Rutherford, N.J.

SIDNEY, NE - Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, announced today that it is in negotiations to build one of its world-famous retail stores at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J. The 175,000-square-foot store could open in Spring, 2007, with construction scheduled to begin in Spring, 2006.

The store, part of the Meadowlands Xanadu sports, leisure, family entertainment and shopping complex, would be similar in size to the Cabela's retail showroom in Kansas City, Kan., and another scheduled to open in 2005 in Buda, Texas. The newest Cabela's store, a 176,000-square-foot facility in Wheeling, W.Va., opened August 12.

The Meadowlands store would be built in Cabela's trademark style mixing a décor of museum-quality animal displays with colorful dioramas, huge aquariums stocked with native fish and a centerpiece indoor mountain displaying trophy animals interacting in realistic re-creations of their natural habitats. Cabela's retail stores are known as top-notch education and entertainment destinations, many of which are the leading tourist attractions in their respective states.

To operate the new store, Cabela's would expect to employ as many as 500 people, who would join the Cabela's family of more than 8,000 employees. Employees are expected to come from East Rutherford and the surrounding area to join Cabela's family of staff members famous for their outdoor lifestyle and intimate knowledge of outdoor products.

"By combining everything the Cabela's retail experience offers with the excitement of the Meadowlands Xanadu complex, we can create the premier destination for sporting enthusiasts along the East Coast," said Cabela's President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Highby. "We believe Cabela's is the perfect fit to bring the outdoors to the Meadowlands and with so many valued customers who live the Cabela's lifestyle nearby, we would expect this retail store to be an overwhelming success."

"So many people are coming together to make this work," Highby said. "We really appreciate the efforts of all the people, including the Mills Corporation and all the others who are working to make this happen."

Features which would greet visitors to the Cabela's store include:

  • A huge mountain replica, the centerpiece of the store's open showroom, with running waterfalls and streams, a trout pond and trophy animals in re-creations of their distinct habitats. Similar mountains, each called Conservation Mountain, have been built in other Cabela's stores as monuments to wildlife and salutes to the sportsmen and women who support wildlife conservation.
  • A 40,000-gallon freshwater aquarium stocked with fish native to the area.
  • Museum-quality representations of many wild-game species, including an expansive diorama devoted to African game animals.
  • World-class Gun Library™, providing gun collectors and aficionados the opportunity to browse through a collection of examples of the gun-making art.
  • Full-service fly-fishing shop, much like a store within a store, with the products - and helpful, experienced staff - for all fly-casters from novice to expert.
  • Shooting gallery, providing fun along with the opportunity to learn basic shooting skills in a safe environment.
  • Indoor archery range where archers can test and fine-tune their equipment.
  • Bargain Cave, featuring discount prices on returned and discontinued merchandise.

Cabela's, which is headquartered in Sidney, Nebraska, is a true American success story. Starting from a small kitchen-table operation in 1961, Dick and Jim Cabela have built its reputation as the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear by serving millions of customers through the company's mail-order catalogs, retail stores and Internet web site. The company publishes and mails more than 100 million catalogs each year to customers in all 50 states and 120 countries. The web site, located at www.cabelas.com, offers outdoor enthusiasts access to a full-line of outdoor gear, as well as comprehensive content pages with tips, stories and state-by-state outdoor recreation guides. Cabela's operates retail stores in Sidney and Kearney, Nebraska; Owatonna and East Grand Forks, Minnesota; Mitchell, South Dakota; Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; Dundee, Michigan; Kansas City, Kansas, Hamburg, Pennsylvania and Wheeling, West Virginia. Cabela's recently announced plans to open stores in Ft. Worth and Buda, Texas and Lehi, Utah in 2005. Cabela's is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CAB."

Source: www.cabelas.com   Press Release: East Rutherford, NJ (October 5, 2004)

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Source: www.skipressworld.com

October 7, 2004

Xanadu Snowdome Breaks Ground with Expert Help of Mountain Creek

East Rutherford, N.J. (Ski Press)-Thank goodness for a real ski hill, and real skiers in New Jersey. That’s because the proposed Xanadu snowdome looks kind of techno-creepy so far – check it out for yourselves at www.meadowlandsmills.com – although the folks from Mountain Creek did all they could to keep the groundbreaking real.

To highlight Xanadu’s plan to build the United State’s first indoor Snow Dome, Mountain Creek and New Hampshire’s Snow Magic teamed up once again to create a spectacular visual demonstration during the ground breaking event, designing and building a custom jump complete with falling snow. Pro snowboarder Tyler Emond and professional skier Paul Cotter were recruited to display their flashiest aerial tricks for the demonstration, which propelled the athletes along a snow ramp down the center of the dining room, providing quite a thrill for the several hundred unsuspecting media and VIP attendees.

After nailing his trick, Emond handed New Jersey Governor James McGreevey a check for $160 million, signaling the closing of the land lease for the project.

Located just 47 miles from New York City and owned by Intrawest, Mountain Creek boasts more than 46 trails over four peaks and 1,040 feet of vertical.

Source: www.skipressworld.com

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Source: www.aboutnewjersey.com

Meadowlands Xanadu (in development)

Meadowlands Xanadu will be the ultimate sports, leisure, family entertainment and shopping complex in the United States. Rising at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford New Jersey, Meadowlands Xanadu will feature 4.8 million square feet of unprecedented innovation. It will offer visitors of all ages a broad array of engaging experiences, including interactive entertainment venues, fine dining, outdoor amusements, runway fashion shows and its main attraction – America’s first Snow Dome for indoor skiing. Meadowlands Xanadu will also offer a luxury hotel and Class A office buildings.

Sports - The Ultimate Skybox
Year-round skiing on real snow in the country's first indoor ski slope; taking the corners in a Formula One miniature race car; watching the game on a three-story tall video wall; casting for trout with a hand-tied lure; even watching a minor-league baseball game at a new outdoor stadium. These activities and much more will be offered at the Meadowlands Xanadu Sports District.

Children's Education - A Playhouse with No Limits
The Children’s Education district will be an innovative and stimulating playground for children of all ages. This district will combine hands-on learning with the hottest kid’s brands around—featuring interactive games, play areas , unique educational role-playing adventures and an Aquarium concept like no other. The Children’s Education district at Meadowlands Xanadu will be a playhouse with no limits, destined to be on everyone's short list of must-see family attractions.

Entertainment - The Digital Playground
The Entertainment district will be the hub of the project, immersing guests in the latest in music, broadcast and filmed entertainment, as well as world-class restaurants and clubs. A ribbon of giant digital screens will feature music videos and movie trailers for upcoming releases, while the country’s largest movie theater will host film festivals and opening-night premieres. Music aficionados will enjoy live performances and album release parties. All these components, plus live television broadcasts, sound and light shows, will provide a high-energy and exciting atmosphere at the Entertainment district – The Digital Playground.

Food & Home - The Total Home
Whether your passion is food, drink, gardening or home décor, the Food & Home district will have it all. This zone will feature a world-class culinary arts center and cooking school with a broadcast stage for cooking shows, demonstrations and celebrity chef appearances. For interior design enthusiasts, the district will offer home design expos for both modern and traditional tastes. A fresh market with cafes will offer fresh flowers, market stalls and tasting stations. This Total Home district will offer a vast collection of sights, sounds, smells and tastes for the home.

Fashion - The World of Style
The Fashion district at Meadowlands Xanadu will be a showcase for the latest offerings in beauty, style and fashion. This World of Style will feature an unmatched selection of must-have fashion brands, including new international brands and designers that have never been seen in the United States before. The district will offer personal shopping services, fashion consultants and beauty consultations, as well as a full schedule of main floor events like runway fashion shows and designer appearances. The allure of the world's greatest shopping districts will make the Fashion District at Meadowlands Xanadu a haven for fashion and beauty trendsetters.

Source: www.aboutnewjersey.com

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Source: www.icsc.org   International Council of Shopping Centers

Mills chosen to redevelop New Jersey Meadowlands site

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority chose The Mills Corp. today to redevelop the Continental Airlines Arena site in the Meadowlands, just west of New York City.

Mills, in partnership with Cranford, N.J.-based office developer Mack-Cali Realty Corp., plans a 4.8 million-square-foot, $1.3 billion mixed-use project for the site, to be called Meadowlands Xanadu. The plan calls for 594,000 square feet of retail, 1.7 million square feet of entertainment and 1.8 million square feet of office space. The entertainment components include ESPN Skate Park, Meadowlands YMCA and a minor league baseball park.

The Mills bid beat out a joint proposal by Forest City Ratner and Hartz Mountain Industries, and a plan by Westfield America Trust.

"All of the proposals were exceptional, but the Mills/Mack-Cali stood head and shoulders above the rest," said Carl Goldberg, chairman of the sports authority's selection committee.

The site's redevelopment coincides with efforts to relocate the New Jersey Devils hockey and New Jersey Nets basketball teams, which now play in Continental Airlines Arena, to a new, as yet unbuilt stadium in Newark, N.J. The stadium has not gotten the go-ahead yet, though the Newark City Council gave preliminary approval in October.

Forest City Ratner (a New York City affiliate of Forest City Enterprises) and Secaucus, N.J.-based Hartz proposed the 4.1 million-square-foot, $850 million Expo Park at the Meadowlands. It was to include 356,000 square feet of retail, 478,000 square feet of entertainment and 2 million square feet of office space, plus a 1,200-room hotel.

Westfield, meanwhile, fielded a 3.9 million-square-foot, $1.2 billion plan for a mixed-use project called Arena Place, which included 260,000 square feet of retail, 76,000 square feet of entertainment and 2.2 million square feet of office space, plus 1,000 hotel rooms.

Mills had the support of many local Democratic politicians in the days before the vote, according to the Bergen (N.J.) Record, and also was backed late last year by the New York Giants football team, which plays at Giants Stadium, next to the Continental Airlines Arena.

Mills has been interested in the area since 1998, when it first proposed a value megamall it dubbed Meadowlands Mills on a site called the Empire Tract. That project has been delayed, however, because the area contains hundreds of acres of wetland. When Mills submitted the bid to redevelop the Continental Airlines Arena, the company said it would turn the Empire Tract site over to the state of New Jersey if selected for the Xanadu Meadowlands project.

"It’s probably the most dynamic site in the United States," Mills Chairman and CEO Laurence C. Siegel told SCT Newswire in January, referring to the Xanadu Meadowlands site. "It’s in the shadow of the skyline of Manhattan."

Morgan Stanley predicted in a Feb. 11 note that Mills would have the winning proposal because of the political endorsements. It also said it expects the company to develop a "financially profitable project," though cautioning that Mills' beating out the other developers does not ipso facto make Meadowlands Xanadu a reality.

"There is simply no guarantee that the [potentially lengthy] exclusive negotiations will go well and that Mills will ultimately break ground on the project," The New York City-based investment bank said.

The end of this competition among the developers may also end the stream of ads they have run in New Jersey newspapers. Forest City’s and Hartz’s ads criticized Mills for the amount of retail in its proposal, charging that it would create traffic problems.

A Feb. 6 Mills ad in the Bayonne Journal began: "Hi. It's me again — Meadowlands Xanadu. I said I'd be back in touch, and I always keep my promises."

Compiled by the staff of Shopping Centers Today. © February 12, 2003 International Council of Shopping Centers.

Source: www.icsc.org   International Council of Shopping Centers

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