19 Jul Xanadu – The American Dream Mall
Xanadu – The American Dream Mall
Each week my office manager Carolyn and I compile the weeks most interesting Detroit, retail, Real Estate and other articles that we find interesting, we whittle it down and send it along on Saturday mornings for you all to digest. Unbeknownst to me, there is a bit a of a competition to see who contributed the most viewed article and I am happy to report last week was mine, on the soon to open American Dream Mall in New Jersey. All jokes aside, Carolyn does an amazing job keeping our email blasts on point and helping with my blog posts, so kudos to her and better luck this weekend!
The American Dream Mall, is being developed by Triple Five, the same developers of Mall of America and Mall of Edmonton with a ratio of entertainment to retail that has never been seen before. This project has been in the works, albeit with other developers, almost my entire career. My first memories of the project date back to a New York City ICSC conference in 2003 where I was introduced to the project as Xanadu. Clearly a lot has changed in the 16 or so years since its announcement, but it is real. I had the pleasure of walking this project earlier this spring with a prospective tenant. I’m sure there will be critics, but this building is nothing short of amazing. Indoor ski hill, Olympic sized ice rink, a water park, an amusement park plus a shopping mall… On my tour the tile floors were being laid, much of the lighting had already been installed. I anticipate being back again before the opening, as I continue to work toward placing one of our tenants in the colossal and potentially pivotal project. The merchandise mix here will be heavily concentrated on entertainment and just outside the city that never sleeps, I expect this project to be active around the clock and to generate excellent sales volumes.
A quick note from the field: This week marked the return of the ICSC Michigan Summer Idea Exchange back to Downtown Detroit at Cobo Hall with a happy hour at Central Kitchen on Wednesday. Having the ICONIC offices just a few blocks away, it changed the way I am able to participate. I came and went from the show 4 times, catching up on meetings, phone calls and other obligations at the office. What was interesting to me was each time I returned to the Hall, I saw a different group of faces, and as I would exit, inevitably I would exit in tandem with others, all having just stopped by for an hour or two. On the one hand, the efforts that go into putting together a day like this should not go overlooked and should command our attention for the day. On the other hand, I suppose we are all making hay while the sun shines, working our deals and projects and taking a moment to pay our respects to those who take their time to put these events together for us, and make them better each year.
Thank you for reading, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic, so please comment, email or call!
Kees Janeway – Managing Partner, ICONIC Real Estate