We haven't heard much from the tristate area's newest amusement park project, the American Dream, since plans for a Dreamworks deal with the New Jersey park/mega-mall were announced last summer. But the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority approved the development company's proposal yesterday, and there's BIG NEWS: the project might include a water park.
The Meadowlands project, originally called "Xanadu," has been in the works for years. But apparently development's been stalled since 2009, thanks to a bunch of ongoing obstacles including a lawsuit spurred by the Giants and Jets, who say more Meadowlands traffic will uproot people trying to get to and from nearby MetLife stadium. But the NJ sports authority voted unanimously to approve the Triple Five Worldwide-helmed project, which in addition to boasting a mall, indoor amusement park and water park, includes an 18-screen movie theater, a giant Ferris wheel, skydiving wind tunnels and indoor ski slopes. And, thanks to a deal with Dreamworks, there'll even be Shrek characters running around, along with other Dreamworks Animation-themed deals. Madagascar Log Flume Adventure, anyone? We'd be down. "It will be a fantastic entertainment and retail complex for the entire region," said Mike Ferguson, chairman of the sports authority, said yesterday. "It will be an economic driver."
Speaking of drivers, this project will likely also make traffic in the Meadowlands a complete mess. "Those who live in or travel through the Meadowlands region already waste roughly $1,000 a year and 20 hours a year sitting in traffic,” Veronica Vanterpool, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign executive director, said. “Unfortunately, Triple Five Worldwide has steadfastly refused to provide a traffic mitigation study for the proposed development that addresses the traffic concerns raised by elected officials, residents, business owners, and advocates.” So it might take you fifteen years to drive out there, but still...water slides. Construction hasn't even kicked off yet and there's no real time frame for the project's completion, but when it opens (if it ever days), get there ASAP before all the kids pee in the Lazy River.