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New Jersey officials: 'Ugliest building in the world' needs a facelift

Mel Evans / AP, File

This file photo from September 2011 shows the "American Dream" megamall in East Rutherford, N.J. Officials now want to facelift the brightly-colored shopping and entertainment complex before the 2014 Super Bowl, which will be hosted at MetLife Stadium, pictured rear right.

It's been called the "ugliest building in the world" by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — and now state officials want to do something about it before they host the Super Bowl in 2014.

The American Dream super mall project in East Rutherford, N.J., remains unfinished with its brightly-colored, multi-patterned facade, a stark contrast to the landscape surrounding the nearby New Jersey Turnpike.

Adjacent to the site is MetLife Stadium, home to two NFL teams: the New York Jets and New York Giants. The three-year-old stadium will host the 2014 Super Bowl.

But before the crowds come into town for the big game, state officials want to change the look of the megamall building next door, which remains idle after construction stalled in 2009 due to financial woes, The-Star Ledger newspaper reported

The project, formerly called "Xanadu," is currently only 80 percent complete.


"I would anticipate the construction will start in 2013 and there will be a heavy emphasis on making sure the exterior will look different before the Super Bowl," real estate executive Jon F. Hanson told The Star-Ledger.

"When they get finished, it will be hard to remember what it looked like," Hanson — who also serves as Gov. Christie's chief adviser on New Jersey's sports and entertainment industries — told the newspaper. "What they will do will change it dramatically."

A spokesman for the project's new developer, Triple Five, told The-Star Ledger that they agree that changing the building facade is a "priority."

"While American Dream will not be completed in time for the Super Bowl, we do fully intend to be prepared and able to host and support Super Bowl-related events as needed to assist the host committee and others with related Super Bowl needs," spokesman Alan Marcus told the newspaper.

The American Dream Meadowlands project, which has already seen its share of criticism for being an alleged eyesore, aims to be a destination and claims that it would attract 40 million visitors annually.

The site would feature everything from retail stores to movie theaters to an indoor ski and snowboard park. The costs for the project is up to $3.7 billion, according to The Star-Ledger.

Last summer, the Giants and the Jets sued to block the megamall, claiming it would create traffic woes and interference with game days, The Associated Press reported.

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