American Dream’s owner, Triple Five Group, has received more time to pay off $1.7 billion in construction financing on the beleaguered Meadowlands megamall.
Under the terms of the deal announced Nov. 7 by Triple Five, its lenders, a group led by JPMorgan Chase & Co., agreed to a four-year extension on repayments, setting a new maturity date of October 2026.
In a statement, Don Ghermezian, president and chief executive officer of American Dream, said, “We are pleased that our lenders … share in our vision and recognize Triple Five and American Dream’s successful and impactful contribution to the global retail and entertainment landscape.
“American Dream’s new flagship retail stores, first to market concepts, celebrity events, and one-of-a-kind entertainment and attractions will further solidify our position as revolutionaries in the industry,” he said.
After years of delays, the $5 billion, 3-million-square-foot American Dream finally opened in October 2019 but was temporarily shuttered just a few months later due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though it reopened for business by the end of 2020, it was already falling short of expectations. In 2021, American Dream generated about $173 million in revenue, but its expenses totaled more than $232 million. And it record $305 million in sales — far below the $2 billion Triple Five initially projected for the property’s first year of operations.
In hopes of dodging bankruptcy at American Dream, Triple Five has been angling for the extension, with Ghermezian asking lenders in February for a reprieve, Bloomberg reported at the time. The loans include a $1.2 billion senior loan and $475 million mezzanine loan due to be repaid last year.
In August, Triple Five – which also owns the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall – missed an $8.8 million semi-annual interest payment to bondholders, according to a notice by U.S. Bank Trust Co.
Over the past several months, the mall has steadily added new retail stores, attractions and restaurants to reach an 82% occupancy rate. Its tenants include Saks Fifth Avenue, Hermès, Saint Laurent, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferrari, Aritzia, H&M, Primark, Uniqlo, Sephora and Zara.
American Dream is also home to Toys R Us’ global flagship store, as well as DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Legoland Discovery Center, Sea Life Aquarium, Big Snow Ski Hill and Dream Wheel.
Ghermezian remains optimistic, saying, “American Dream’s success continues to grow with dramatically increasing traffic and spend at the complex.”