Newark (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Colony Capital Acquisitions, LLC, a special purpose subsidiary of Colony Capital, announced today that it has completed the previously announced recapitalization of the Meadowlands Xanadu, a unique sports, leisure, shopping and family entertainment destination development project with 2.2 million square feet of entertainment and retail space to be built in northern New Jersey. Under the agreement, Colony will lead the $1.5 billion additional financing needed to complete the project, including $500 million in equity and approximately $1 billion in debt and additional capital. The debt is being financed by Credit Suisse. Colony is the managing general partner in a joint venture that also includes the Dune Real Estate Funds, KanAm USA Management XXII Limited Partnership, and The Mills Corporation.
“We are pleased to have the complex negotiations of the last few months behind us and are extremely excited about the project’s momentum. The financing, major tenants, and long-term vision are now in place to make Meadowlands Xanadu the entertainment destination of choice for millions of residents in the tri-state region. We believe this will be the nation’s premier entertainment-oriented retail venue,” said Richard Saltzman, President of Colony Capital.
“This agreement confirms and harmonizes the interests of Meadowlands Xanadu, the Giants and Jets, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority,” said Gary Rose, Chief of the Governor’s Office of Economic Growth. “We look forward to accelerated activity at the Meadowlands, the eventual opening of an extraordinary entertainment and shopping venue, and the best new stadium in the NFL.”
George R. Zoffinger, President and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, said, “We look forward to working in partnership with Colony and the other members of the venture toward the successful completion of a fantastic project.”
Meadowlands Xanadu will be composed of five distinct districts, each offering interactive experiences and branded activities and events in the areas of fashion, food and home, entertainment, children’s activities, and sports.
The project has signed leases with six anchor tenants occupying over 500,000 square feet: Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outdoor lifestyle outfitter; AEG Live, operator of a 2,250-seat concert hall for live performances; Muvico, an upscale movie going experience featuring 18 screens with stadium seating and a full-service restaurant; Strike MX, an upmarket martini bar with bowling alleys; Forever 21, an apparel store targeting young women; and The Children’s Place, a national children’s retailer.
In addition, the project will be anchored by the Snow Dome, a 780-foot ski slope for skiing and snowboarding, complete with equipment rental, a lodge and associated amenities; Wannado City, a 60,000 square foot playroom where children can experience hundreds of career possibilities in an indoor city built to fit their size; a Culinary Arts Center, with live cooking demonstrations; the largest ferris wheel in North America, offering panoramic views of New York City; and Sky Venture, a unique simulated sky diving adventure.
“We couldn’t be more excited to launch our first New Jersey store at Meadowlands Xanadu, which will bring our world-famous retail experience to our loyal customers in the region,” said Dennis Highby, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cabela’s. “We believe our brand of hands-on, try-it-out retail adventure will be a great fit for a sports, retail and entertainment destination that is all about providing first-class style, experience and fun. We are also very excited about the new structure and ownership team now in place.”
Colony will be the managing partner of the venture, joined by a group led by Laurence C. Siegel and other Mills executives who will transition to the new partnership and have been involved in the project since its inception. “I am pleased to partner with Colony Capital as together we see this venture to fruition. Meadowlands Xanadu will be one of the most exciting destinations anywhere with attractions and activities for every age group. I believe it is the most imaginative and exciting development project being executed today,” Mr. Siegel said.
The project team, along with Medialink LLC, will work with Fortune 100 companies that seek to showcase, highlight and feature their brands and products in an unparalleled and sophisticated digital environment. Meadowlands Xanadu offers extraordinary branding and sponsorship opportunities for major corporations in a state-of-the-art entertainment and retail environment. The interactive content could set a precedent for how brands and corporations activate naming and presenting rights opportunities in a highly trafficked destination.