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American Dream gets temporary C.O. and opens — partially

Photo by Sam Nandez

Finally, it opens.

After 17 years, three owners, untold funding and tax abatement efforts, and the lack of a certificate of occupancy that threatened its grand opening, American Dream, the 3 million-sq.-ft. retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., opened on Friday. Or at least a small part of it did.

Developer Triple Five succeeded in obtaining a temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) from the State of New Jersey and was able to open what it calls “Chapter One” of the center with the sold-out debut of the massive indoor Nickelodeon Universe amusement park and The Rink, an NHL-sized ice skating and hockey facility. The TCO will last for 90 days and can be renewed.

“Chapter Two” begins on Nov. 27 when the gates open at Dreamworks Water Park, which features a 1.5-acre wave pool and a 142-ft.-high body slide, reputed to be the world’s tallest. The advent of the Big Snow indoor ski slope is the third chapter and is slated to happen on Dec. 5.

The expansive retail and shopping districts of the center, what Triple Five is calling “Chapter 4,” will seem more like an epilogue they finally open in March with some 450 retailers and restaurants.

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