Senator Loretta Weinberg today called for the release of the terms of the agreement between Xanadu’s creditors and the development and management firm that will assume control of the long-stalled Meadowlands retail and entertainment complex.
The deal with Triple Five – the company that operates the tourist-driven Mall of America in Minnesota – first was reported on Christmas Eve. However, no details of the agreement between the lenders and Triple Five have been released. Governor Christie had trumpeted the deal in numerous news reports and the official press release announcing the deal.
“No one is against striking a deal to save Xanadu, but the terms of that deal should not be a state secret,” said Weinberg (D-Bergen), a longtime advocate for greater government accountability. “Having a known quantity like Triple Five come in to resuscitate Xanadu is a good thing, as now there can be hope this project can finally become the economic engine it has been touted to be. But all we’ve seen and heard on this deal is a lot of back-slapping and no substance.”
The multi-billion Xanadu project has been the subject of multiple delays and cost-overruns since its initial approval in 2003. The project was supposed to have opened to the public in 2007. When completed, it is expected to generate thousands of new retail and entertainment jobs.
According to news reports, Triple Five is expected to unveil its plans for the project early next year.
“It will be an interesting race to see which is known by the public first: Triple Five’s plans for Xanadu or the terms of the agreement under which they got the place,” said Weinberg.