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  #61  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2010, 2:42 AM
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Originally Posted by NYC4Life View Post
Four more years for a project that already looks complete on the outside? Yup, disaster!
I think he's just looking to have it complete by then...

Quote:
he says will be finished by 2014, when the nearby Jets-Giants stadium will host the Super Bowl
...when the Super Bowl will be played at the stadium. It would be a major embarrassment if it weren't.
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  #62  
Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 5:23 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/ny...2&ref=nyregion

On Train to Meadowlands, View of Wasted Money



The New Meadowlands Stadium, left, stands near the long-delayed Xanadu project, right.

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
November 21, 2010

Quote:
It wasn’t a pretty view on the 13-minute train ride Sunday from Secaucus to New Meadowlands Stadium — old landfills, mud flats, the garish bulk of the stalled Xanadu project. But it might as well have been paved with money.

The 2.3-mile train line to the Meadowlands, opened last year, offers a unique tour of inflated and deflated dreams, poor decision-making and, most of all, enormous spending — a fair amount of it from taxpayers, and a fair amount that will never be recouped — in the inimitable New Jersey style. So did the green-clad Jets fans riding to the game gaze out the window at what were supposed to be golf courses, housing, hotels and malls, and sing a lament for the long-suffering New Jerseyan?

Some wearily accept the excess as an inevitable part of life in this state, but most give it little thought.

“If I think about it, I know some of it is crazy,” said Mike McBride, a computer scientist from Boonton. “But when I think about taxes and spending, I tend to think about my local government.”

As the train crosses the Hackensack River, to the left lies what was supposed to be the EnCap project. Once frequent headline news, to judge by the game-day passengers, it has largely vanished from public memory.

This was to be one of the largest developments in the state’s history, entrusted by state and local governments to developers who had little track record and shaky financing. EnCap Holdings was supposed to turn 800 derelict acres, including several old dumps, into a resort and thousands of homes.

None of it happened. Instead, the developers made a series of missteps, ran out of money and, in 2008, filed for bankruptcy. All that remain are lawsuits, investigations and questions about where the money went and who will do the needed cleanup.
State and local bodies sank hundreds of millions of dollars into the project; much has been repaid, but officials say some of it never will be.

On the train, Mike Von Ohlen of New Brunswick, who works at a truck company, turned to look at the sprawling, multicolored Xanadu. Or, as he called it, “the biggest boondoggle there is.”

Xanadu, now just called The Meadowlands, is the largest retail and entertainment complex in the country. After more than $2 billion spent, it is years behind schedule, and the owners say they need $875 million to complete it. It sits on state-owned land; the state has paid for transportation improvements to reach it; and Gov. Chris Christie wants the state to invest money to help finish it.

At the sports complex, owned by the state’s Sports and Exposition Authority, the train passes the money-losing Izod Center. Never a fan favorite, it has been losing business — including its two biggest tenants, the Nets and the Devils — to the newer Prudential Center in Newark.

Nearby sits the Meadowlands Racetrack, serving the fading business of harness racing and also losing money, despite state subsidies. Mr. Christie wants to sell the track and the Izod Center, or shut them down.

Nothing remains of the one site at the complex that actually made money, Giants Stadium, torn down and replaced this year by the new stadium.

Even so, taxpayers are still paying for it, and will be for years to come. The state is paying off more than $200 million in debts on the complex, including the demolished stadium.

New Meadowlands Stadium cost $1.6 billion, said to be the highest price ever for a stadium. That, at least, was built with private money, but many fans wonder what the point was.

“The old stadium was great,” said Marty Schwartz, a retiree from Englewood Cliffs. “Seems like a big waste of money.”

Critics have questioned the Meadowlands train extension itself, built for $185 million, which partly replaced a much less expensive shuttle bus service. It runs only a few dozen days of the year, when major events are held at the stadium, though that will increase when Xanadu finally opens.

Fans generally like the service, which lets them avoid the aggravation and expense of parking at the stadium.

“It’s probably worth it for us,” Mr. McBride said. “But everybody else? Probably not.”
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  #63  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2010, 5:11 AM
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New York Times

A New Push to Rescue Xanadu Mall Project
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: November 26, 2010

Quote:
Lenders and state officials in New Jersey are desperately trying to cobble together the second rescue of Xanadu, one of the nation’s largest, most expensive and still incomplete retail and entertainment malls.

The 2.4-million-square-foot project, which began in 2003 with futuristic visions of an indoor ski slope, a super-size Ferris wheel, a concert hall, movie theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants and expensive shops, ran through two owners and a staggering $1.9 billion before work came to a halt nearly two years ago amid the financial crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

The lenders are now hoping to strike a deal by the end of 2010 with a new developer and a new financial partner willing to put up more than $500 million to finish the five-story mall in the Meadowlands, six miles from Times Square.
Full Article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/ny.../27Xanadu.html
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  #64  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2010, 11:41 AM
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Intresting developement too bad they went along with pepsi instead of coca cola.

and the general cladding and facades look horribly indeed looks like some big factory complex with plenty of halls only thing that almost looks good is the ski slope.

they got alot to learn from Dubai here id say the Mall of the emirates ski slope and the general cladding and layout of the Dubai mall is work of art compared to this.

lets just hope the interior wont be as hideous as the rest but i fear it might me

this is how malls should look like

the pictures are my own



Top of the ski slope in Mall of the emirates from outside



on the left here u can see much of the Dubai mall it also have nice cladding on the other side and its even very beautiful on the roof also on the right u got an Arabic souk



close up of the Dubai mall
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  #65  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2011, 9:26 PM
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Deal Revives New Jersey's Xanadu .
DECEMBER 24, 2010.

By ELIOT BROWN And LISA FLEISHER

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...549228004.html

After over two years of delays, lenders controlling the troubled Xanadu New Jersey retail development have reached a tentative agreement with Triple Five Group, the owners of the Mall of America to invest in and finish the stalled multibillion dollar project.

Should the deal be finalized, it would bring an end to a tumultuous search for a new developer to finish construction of the entertainment and retail mega-project which has become an embarrassment for the state.

Edmonton, Alberta-based Triple Five has signed a letter of intent to do the deal with a lender group which took control of the financially troubled project in August. But people involved cautioned that a deal wasn't final and could still collapse.

Bidders have estimated the 2.2-million-square-foot project needs as much as $700 million to $1 billion in new money, following the approximately $2 billion that has already been spent.

Details of the deal weren't released. But people familiar with the matter say that it calls for the lenders to receive money from the project over time as it is completed and revenue comes in, and they wouldn't receive an up-front payment. Should the project succeed, the lenders could ultimately retrieve their full investment, the people said.

The lenders, which hold about $500 million in debt, include Credit Suisse, Capmark Financial and an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group.

In a measure to aid the new developer, the typically parsimonious Christie administration has said it is open to directing tens of millions of dollars in state aid to help the project, using a pledge of future tax revenues to help finance the deal. A specific agreement on the subsidy hasn't yet been reached, multiple people involved said.

Triple Five executives said Thursday that the company envisions transforming the complex into a major tourism destination akin to the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, which the firm also owns. "That location is just unbelievable," said Maureen Hooley Bausch, a vice president at Triple Five. "We have a lot of plans—we've talked to some of our favorite retailers."

The giant retail project has been a constant headache for the long list of real-estate executives and lenders involved in its creation, suffering from construction delays and rising costs, along with an economic crisis that poured cold water on bullish assumptions. The 100-acre site is slated to include a Ferris wheel and an indoor ski slope.

The initial developer, the Mills Corp., ran into financial problems and turned the project over to Colony Capital in 2007. Colony, in turn ceded control to the lender group this year.

That group, advised by Moelis & Co., along with law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, sought bids in recent months from real-estate firms to finish the project, negotiating in the past few weeks with Triple Five, Florida-based DeBartolo Development, and a joint venture of the Trump Organization and TPG Capital.

The project is by no means a low-risk, and many real-estate executives who looked at it are unsure that the economics will work given the tremendous further investment needed. Skeptical about the finances, Donald Trump withdrew his bid earlier this month, he said an interview Thursday. "We studied it long and hard—it is a very tough deal at any price," he said.

Triple Five, the state government—which owns the land under the complex—and the lenders plan to continue talks and hash out specifics, though hurdles remain including lining up financing. "There are conditions to be met, but I'm comfortable that they can be met," said Jon Hanson, a former state official who led a state commission that recommended a path forward on Xanadu earlier this year.

With regard to a vision for the site, Triple Five said it expected to release plans after the New Year. One thing is certain, according to Ms. Bausch: "The name has to be changed."

I also read in an article I cant find "The exterior has to be changed."
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2011, 9:45 PM
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Another ‘only a matter of time’ situation, but I’m glad this is happening sooner rather than later.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2011, 10:11 PM
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If Triple 5 can't make a go of this monstrosity, no one can. If this deal falls through they should just implode the beast.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2011, 2:31 PM
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Triple Five executives said Thursday that the company envisions transforming the complex into a major tourism destination akin to the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, which the firm also owns. "That location is just unbelievable," said Maureen Hooley Bausch, a vice president at Triple Five. "We have a lot of plans—we've talked to some of our favorite retailers."
Just get it done already.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2011, 7:07 PM
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I remember reading about the construction of this site. I thought it would have ended up being a popular place, as that's what everyone was saying (developers, state, etc). Incredible what a big disappointment it turned out to be. I got to agree that this thing looks atrocious and a complete waste of state money. I hope these new guys can turn it over and make something useful with all the money spent.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2011, 5:03 AM
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A boondoggle of the highest order. Was there anything remotely resembling a shortage of retail or mega-malls in Bergen County? The ongoing disaster this thing is pains the former Bergen County-ite in me. It's embarrassing.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2011, 7:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Thundertubs View Post
A boondoggle of the highest order. Was there anything remotely resembling a shortage of retail or mega-malls in Bergen County?
In terms of mega-malls and big-box retail, the NYC Metro area is actually under-retailed compared to other major U.S. metros.

It really doesn't matter for this mall, though, because the retail mix is very different. This isn't a typical mall, with department store anchors and the like.
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The ongoing disaster this thing is pains the former Bergen County-ite in me. It's embarrassing.
This will be a huge money machine. Basically has the best location anywhere for a megamall.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2011, 4:43 PM
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One can only pray this project will be fully completed and operational by the time the Super Bowl comes to the area in 2014.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2011, 2:26 AM
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  #74  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 3:35 AM
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_christie_xanadu

Gov. promises facelift to NJ's 'ugliest' building




By BETH DeFALCO
Mar 24, 2011

Quote:

Gov. Chris Christie wants a longtime New Jersey eyesore to get a makeover.

Calling it the ugliest building in New Jersey, and possibly America, Christie said Thursday that any deal to finish developing a troubled multibillion-dollar retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands will have to include a new exterior.

Late last year, Triple Five, which owns the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, signed a letter of intent with lenders to complete the development of the "Xanadu" complex and possibly expand it.

Located about 10 miles west of New York City, next to the Izod Center and across a highway from the $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium that is slated to host the 2014 Super Bowl, the decor of the complex has been a source of curiosity for motorists traveling the New Jersey Turnpike.

At a town hall event Thursday, Christie said the first thing that must be done is change the multicolored, multi-patterned exterior.

"They have to change the God-awful ugly outside of that building. It is just an offense to the eyes as you drive up the turnpike," Christie told the crowd, which responded with a cheer.


The decor, which cost an estimated $40 million, has been a source of curiosity for motorists on the turnpike and a joke for late-night comedians.

Christie said the exterior was a reminder of the project's failure, asking: "How didn't everybody understand that something that ugly would fail?"

The project has had more than just cosmetic problems.

The sprawling $2 billion complex originally was projected to open in late 2007. It was supposed to feature shops, an indoor snow dome, a movie complex, bowling alley, restaurants and an upscale martini bar. But as financing fell through, it remained empty, with its most noticeable feature being its exterior.

Creditors took over Xanadu in August, after original lead developer Mills Corp. ran into financial problems and was replaced as general managing partner in early 2007 by Los Angeles-based Colony Capital Acquisitions.

Triple Five and the governor's office are in negotiations to start development, and a possible expansion. Christie said he hopes to have an announcement on the project this spring.

Christie has backed findings of a panel studying the state's gaming, sports and entertainment industries that determined $875 million was needed to finish the Xanadu and recommended the state help find some money to complete it, likely in the form of tax-exempt bonds. But, on Thursday the governor said there would be a caveat to using any state money on the project; the state wants a piece of the equity.

"If they want a state investment, we get a piece of the action," Christie said.

Bloomfield resident Charles Thompson, who came to the town hall event, said he didn't agree with Christie on a lot of things, but was thrilled to hear him mention that Xanadu was getting a makeover.

"He's right about that," said the 58-year-old Thompson. "Paint it white, or black, just do something!"

Christie promised that the exterior would be the first thing worked on, even if construction inside remains unfinished.

"I can't take it anymore," Christie said, "and neither can the people of New Jersey."

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  #75  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 3:39 AM
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fuck ya! i knew i was right to root for Christie!
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  #76  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2011, 8:19 AM
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What a waste of my tax $$$$.....sheesh....hes always dumping it into failing projects that continue to fail. We should have to vote on state funding going into private companies. This project was also rushed before considering the strain on the Highway and Transit system which is near or over capacity in this part of the county.
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  #77  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2011, 6:24 PM
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http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/03/...a-name-change/

New Jersey’s Xanadu Project Is Getting A Name Change



March 31, 2011

Quote:
Xana-who?

Xanadu, the mega-mall project in the Meadowlands that Gov. Chris Christie has called the ugliest building in New Jersey, will be getting a new name.

Jon Hanson, who headed a committee appointed by Christie to study the future of casinos, racetracks and Xanadu, told a gambling forum Thursday that the project will shed its Kubla Khan-inspired name.

Hanson says he met with the latest developers, Triple-Five, and told them the project does not mean anything to the average New Jerseyan.

“Nobody in New Jersey knows what a Xanadu is, so you have to change the name,” Hanson says he told the developers. “I can report to you there will be a name change.”

A new name has yet to be picked out.


Last week, Christie called it the ugliest building in New Jersey, and possibly America. He said any deal to finish developing a troubled multibillion-dollar retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands will have to include a new exterior.

The decor, which cost an estimated $40 million, has been a source of curiosity for motorists on the turnpike and a joke for late-night comedians. It features rectangular panels of orange, brown, blue and lime.

Late last year, Triple Five, which owns the Mall of America in Minnesota and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, signed a letter of intent with lenders to complete the development of the complex and possibly expand it.

Hanson repeated that possibility Thursday, saying “We are exploring ways that we can increase the size of that facility.”


Located about 10 miles west of New York City, next to the Izod Center and across a highway from the $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium that is slated to host the 2014 Super Bowl, the decor of the complex has been a source of curiosity for motorists traveling the New Jersey Turnpike.

Hanson, founder of a real estate operating company and past chairman of the authority that owns the stadium, said a recent study found that shoppers spend an average of 30 minutes at retail malls. But at malls with entertainment components, they spend three hours, he said.

He said the newly-named complex will be a retail and entertainment center that will draw millions of visitors a year.
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  #78  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2011, 4:19 AM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/02/ny...1&ref=nyregion

Fix Xanadu? The Problem May Be Where to Begin


Xanadu, an unfinished $2 billion mall project in East Rutherford, N.J., has been criticized by Gov. Chris Christie as “an offense to the eyes.”


By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA
April 1, 2011

Quote:
A state official declared this week that the ill-starred, long-stalled Xanadu mall would be renamed. But by any name, it will still be the building that Gov. Chris Christie has called “an offense to the eyes as you drive up the turnpike.”

“It’s by far the ugliest damn building in New Jersey, and maybe America,” the governor said last week, drawing cheers at a public forum in Nutley, and knowing nods across the state.

Mr. Christie is hardly the first to complain about the looks of the huge, nearly completed retail-and-entertainment mall alongside the Meadowlands sports complex here. Columnists and online forums have taken swings at it. State Senator Richard J. Codey, a former governor, called it “yucky-looking.” And former State Senator Raymond H. Bateman said, “I think the exterior will always be schlocky, no matter what you do with it.”

The facade of the 2.3-million-square-foot complex has walls of horizontal rectangles, walls of vertical stripes, varying shades of blue, green and orange. An indoor ski slope rises at an angle above the rest. Critics have compared the look to stacked shipping containers, Lego blocks and bar codes.

The garish walls were not intended as a naked skin. An array of animated electronic signs and other décor was supposed to surround the building, but may never be built. With $2 billion spent and more needed to finish it, Xanadu’s main problem is money. Twice, developers have been forced to withdraw when financing ran dry; the state is trying to get another developer to take over and perform a face-lift.

The architects who created the original design, the Rockwell Group, have thrown in the towel: After previous developers repeatedly changed the plans, the group withdrew in 2008 and disavowed any responsibility for the project’s appearance.


So we asked the experts to weigh in.


PAUL GOLDBERGER

Architecture critic of The New Yorker

“It really is unspeakably ugly, there’s no doubt about that. It looks like someone tried to decorate a nuclear reactor.”

“In really big projects in this region, there’s been nothing as horrible as that. I would put Madison Square Garden on the same scale, but it’s not recent. I know various people have said the whole Trump complex on Riverside South is worse, and it is pretty bad.”

“With Xanadu I think the only solution, other than dynamite, is lots of lights and signage. The thing is vulgar by any standard, so maybe the only solution is to make it more vulgar — more lights than Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip.”




RICHARD A. COOK

Architect and partner in Cook + Fox, which designed the Bank of America Tower

Xanadu is “the building every architect loves to hate,” said Mr. Cook, who is also a partner in Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental design consulting firm.

“Personally, what I find to be a horror is, this massive project turns its back on this incredibly beautiful ecosystem. The meadowlands has this incredible biodiversity with real beauty, believe it or not. It’s one of the most important stopover points on the eastern flyway for migratory birds.”

“At least it could have been a background building and nondescript, like all the warehouses and industrial buildings we’re used to driving by.” Instead, its artificiality “makes it an in-your-face offensive building.”

Rather than try to redo the exterior, “I would hide it.”

“I’d find any way to open the building to make it so people can appreciate what’s stunningly beautiful around it, and any way to marry it into the natural ecosystem, like a green roof. I would hire some biologist who specializes in migratory birds to figure out if you could do some kind of armature around the building that would create nesting areas, and camouflage the way it looks now.”




MELISSA LAFSKY

Editor in chief of the Web site The Infrastructurist

“Sure, Xanadu is ugly, but the true extent of its repugnance has to be taken in relation to its building costs. Every Wal-Mart and KFC in America is ugly — but what are magnificently ugly are the buildings that cost hundreds of millions to construct, and still emerge as aesthetic monstrosities.”

Considering Xanadu’s price, “it may have a good case for Ugliest Money Pit in America.” In the New York region, “the only thing comparable would be Trumpville on the West Side Highway. It beats Xanadu in its sheer mass, and its brutal imposition on the eyes of millions of people.”




GUY GEIER

Managing partner of the architectural firm FXFowle, and a New Jersey resident

Structures with cavernous interior spaces pose a particular design challenge: to avoid an exterior of huge, dull slabs. Xanadu’s multicolored panels are understandable “as an attempt to break down the mass of the building, because it is so large,” but they do not work well.

Is there a less attractive high-profile development of recent vintage in the region? “I would be hard-pressed” to think of one. “Just the number of eyes who see it every day provide an opportunity for whoever gets to redesign it to maybe make a more serious statement about what we should be thinking about in our buildings these days. So, for instance, maybe that exterior could be solar, potentially clad in photovoltaic panels.”

A new developer could make some of the exterior transparent, “re-skinning it to expose more of what’s going on inside the building” — an approach FXFowle is taking in renovating the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

The original vision of flashing, moving signs could be “distracting to people while they drive. Might be more of a hazard than a benefit.”




BRIAN MCGRATH

Founder and principal of Urban-Interface L.L.C., an urban design consulting practice

“It’s the ultimate example of the shopping mall as an enclosed space that doesn’t engage the environment around it. New Jersey is famous for those,” said Mr. McGrath, who a decade ago worked with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission to generate ideas for developing the area.

“It’s less about the ugliness and the scale and the ambition, and more about how you engage a wetland. An indoor ski slope that requires refrigeration year-round blatantly disregards the environment.”

Xanadu’s design “could in some ways make reference to its environment, to the wetlands, the wildlife,” but it does not. “These open areas — the Meadowlands, Jamaica Bay — are the blue and green lungs of our region, and they’ve been completely disregarded and dumped on. They’re just places to drive past and fly over when we’re landing at the airport.”

The outer layer as originally planned, with its electronic components, would be something of an improvement. “It’s definitely in the spirit of Las Vegas, and the love of the ugly and the ordinary in the American landscape.”
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  #79  
Old Posted Apr 2, 2011, 8:45 AM
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When I think of Xanada, I think of that stupid movie with Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. And who should pay for that fugly exterior change? Me thinks the morans who approved it in the first place along with the idiotic architects who designed it. It – but we know that’s a pipe dream. No wonder we’re made fun of.
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  #80  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2011, 6:37 PM
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NYC4Life NYC4Life is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bronx, NYC
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Just re-painting the exterior to one color may solve the problem. The whole project as a whole though is just one huge mess. Should have never been built in its current state.
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