Thursday, March 31, 2011

Changing Its Name Wont Help Xanadu

What should someone make of the idea that the long-stalled Xanadu project will get a name change?
Xanadu, the mega-mall project in the Meadowlands that Gov. Chris Christie has called the ugliest building in New Jersey, will be getting a new name.

Jon Hanson, who headed a committee appointed by Christie to study the future of casinos, racetracks and Xanadu, told a gambling forum Thursday that the project will shed its Kubla Khan-inspired name.

Hanson says he met with the latest developers, Triple-Five, and told them the project does not mean anything to the average New Jerseyan.

"Nobody in New Jersey knows what a Xanadu is, so you have to change the name," Hanson says he told the developers. "I can report to you there will be a name change."

A new name has yet to be picked out.
It doesn't matter what it will be called.

Taxpayers will still be on the hook for a significant portion of its development and until the new developers (Triple-Five, which operates Minnesota's Mall of America among others) get it opened, this will not only be an ongoing eyesore, but a drain on the state and local economy.

Triple-Five has said that it would redo the exterior (which is yet another cost that the new developer will bear in order to get this project underway).

There's no word on what exactly retailers will come to the location. Cabelas scrapped its intention to build a megastore there, and other entertainment options are being evaluated. The ski area was also damaged during this past winter's storms, but that's manageable compared to finding leases on all the space and wooing visitors to come to the site.

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