Massive American Dream mall opens but will shoppers come?

antitox

Well-Known Member
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/american-dream-open-fanfare-shoppers-101126169.html?hl=1&noRedirect=1

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — More than two decades ago when a mega entertainment and shopping complex was being conceived on a vast swath of swamp land in New Jersey, the iPhone didn't exist, Amazon was only selling books online and malls were where you went for all your shopping needs.
Now, after endless fits and starts and billions of dollars spent, American Dream is officially opening its doors to the public as the second largest mall in the country, and third largest in North America. It will showcase 3 million square feet of leasable space dedicated to more than a dozen entertainment attractions like a 16-story indoor ski slope, rollercoaster, waterpark and eventually 450 retail, food and specialty shops.
The big question is: Who will come?
In today's retail landscape, consumers are glued to their iPhones and smartphones, where they can do their shopping without ever leaving their couch. Amazon has morphed into the biggest online retailer in the world. And overall traffic at malls, which had been on the rise in the late 1990s, has declined 10% since, according to an estimate by Coresight Research.
A report from Credit Suisse published two years ago predicted that up to a quarter of the shopping malls will close by 2022 given the increasing popularity of online shopping and a rash of store closings. Since 2015, only nine malls have been built, a dramatic fall from their peak construction in 1973 of 43, according to CoStar Group, a real estate research firm.
Amid that new reality, American Dream is looking to draw 45 million to 50 million visitors in its first year. Entertainment will account for more than half of its space, including attractions like a bunny field and an aviary. There will also be a doggy day care and a luxury wing, where shoppers can sip champagne and sample caviar as they wait for their designer handbags to be wrapped.
"You can make it your backyard playground if you live in Manhattan or even if you're in New Jersey," said Ken Downing, chief creative officer for Triple Five Group, the mall's developer. "It's a staycation. So, it's a little bit of competing with mindset and emotion, far more than a property or even Disneyland."

During the opening on Friday, which was limited to a few thousand visitors, the smell of saw dust and sound of electric drills served as a reminder that the American Dream is still a work in progress. Only two of the major entertainment attractions were open: an ice-skating rink and the Nickelodeon Theme Park, although not all the rides were up and running.
American Dream won't be fully operational until next spring. The complex will unveil the rest of the attractions like the ski slope and waterpark by the end of the year; stores and restaurants will open in March.
At the ice-skating rink, spectators were watching professional skaters do routines. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his wife Tammy took a spin on one of the rollercoasters, along with other state officials.
"The attraction is this," said Giovanni Scolaro, who lives in nearby Elmwood Park, New Jersey, pointing to the amusement park. "I have a 7-year-old child and grandchildren. This is going to be a draw."
Canada-based mall and entertainment conglomerate Triple Five in 2011 took over the massive project originally dubbed Xanadu from two developers, whose plans included building the world's largest Ferris wheel. The idea was envisioned in the late 1990s but the project didn't break ground until 2004.
It languished during the early years and its multi-colored, checkerboard exterior — since removed — drew derision. Then-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called it "an offense to the eyes" and "the ugliest damn building in New Jersey and maybe America."
The project was suspended in 2009 during the financial crisis after a Lehmann Bros. affiliate failed to fund its share of the construction. Creditors seized the project in 2010, and Triple Five came on board a year later, renaming it American Dream.
Triple Five reimagined American Dream as a community hub for tourists and locals, taking a page from two other malls it had developed: West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada and Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota — the two largest malls in North America. Entertainment was a big selling point for both, accounting for 20% of the West Edmonton Mall's space and 30% of Mall of America's. That compares with the 6% average for U.S. malls, according to CoStar.
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
What helps make Mall of America work is it's closeness to a major airport. People fly in for a day of shopping and then fly back home.

This mall in East Rutherford is going to be real close to Newark International Airport, a major airport on the east coast.

If they can make the same dynamic work for them it might survive for awhile.
 

Endangered

Well-Known Member
New Jersey also has gambling as an added attraction. If the Mall doesnt do as well as expected my guess is they will introduce gambling.
I have never understood the attraction of gambling. I havent bought a lotto ticket since 1990 and horse racing is a sport to me and not a way to gamble my hard earned dollars..
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Im not a big shopper, but I still enjoy an occasional visit st to the mall. Like most people, I do the majority of my shopping online, but I still desire to walk amongst the many shops, and people watch.

Good luck to this new mall, but I pray the church is gone before it opens. Actually, I pray we are gone before I finish typing this post.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
People I know including our daughter and her tribe have visited and enjoyed the West Edmonton Mall which is one of this type. it's appeal is declining a bit, but still a strong attraction that continues to draw people to Edmonton. Helps that Alberta doesn't have sales tax so a lot of BC people including DD and her DH plan a trip to enjoy the mall and get some serious savings. Our sales tax in BC is 12% which adds up. There are exemptions, but most stuff, 12%. Christmas shopping budgets add up. Depending on how much you spend, the savings can offset the cost of gas and lodgings and meals which means a cut rate pleasure trip.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
It depressing to think that a looked for vacation is a trip to a mega mall.
DD and her DH live on a farm with 5 little girls that they homeschool. Her dh works in forestry and is out in the bush a lot. When they bust loose to the big city, they bust loose!!!!

They visit her dh's family in Alberta when they go, and the little girls really enjoy the waterpark slides in the middle. Dd and her Dh get a lot of deferred shopping done that helps offset the cost of the trip.

As for me and George, yup, that type of a mall is on par with one of Dante's seven circles of hell.
 

kathymendel

Well-Known Member
Quite honestly, I wouldn't go there. Number one, I can't walk that much anymore. Number two, I see it as a disaster waiting to happen. How easy would it be for a terrorist attack that would take out a lot of people. ????? Get a few zealots with bomb vests, wanting to get their seventy virgins, and there ya go!! Just sayin'...........
 

InsuranceGuy

Well-Known Member
Around St. Louis, we've seen most of our once big malls close down over the last couple of years. The Mills Mall closed about 3 years ago for good. The North County Mall closed several years back. Crestwood Mall closed and Jamestown Mall closed. Chesterfield Mall filed bankruptcy and will be closing in the next 12 months. We have just 4 left in the entire metro area, with two of the four being in really bad financial shape. Our West County Mall is the most profitable Mall in America, by square footage. It's continually expanding and is huge. The others all closed for nearly the same reason. They began letting teenagers hang out at the mall and using it as a gathering spot. It led to fights, crime and drama. People going shopping do not want 200 teenagers, with no money of their own, getting in their way. The still-open malls require a parent with anyone under 16 or the teenager is asked to leave. I love that rule. The Mills Mall closed entirely because of the fights. You would walk in there and literally run into 200 teenagers. They were unruly and started trouble with everyone. It became a dumping ground for parents. Once the fights started, the Mall was slow to try and kick the kids out, so people simply stopped going there.
 

antitox

Well-Known Member
Around St. Louis, we've seen most of our once big malls close down over the last couple of years. The Mills Mall closed about 3 years ago for good. The North County Mall closed several years back. Crestwood Mall closed and Jamestown Mall closed. Chesterfield Mall filed bankruptcy and will be closing in the next 12 months. We have just 4 left in the entire metro area, with two of the four being in really bad financial shape. Our West County Mall is the most profitable Mall in America, by square footage. It's continually expanding and is huge. The others all closed for nearly the same reason. They began letting teenagers hang out at the mall and using it as a gathering spot. It led to fights, crime and drama. People going shopping do not want 200 teenagers, with no money of their own, getting in their way. The still-open malls require a parent with anyone under 16 or the teenager is asked to leave. I love that rule. The Mills Mall closed entirely because of the fights. You would walk in there and literally run into 200 teenagers. They were unruly and started trouble with everyone. It became a dumping ground for parents. Once the fights started, the Mall was slow to try and kick the kids out, so people simply stopped going there.
That's sad about it becoming a dumping ground. Our nearby Valley View Mall in Dallas was taken down mainly due to slumping sales. It was my favorite double decker mall in the area. They did leave the movie theatre portion of it up and it's still operating.
 
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