The wait is over for shoppers who have missed the $5 billion American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
On Thursday (Sept. 3), its developer, the Triple Five Group, the Canadian conglomerate which also owns two of North America’s largest malls, the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta and the Mall of America in Minnesota, announced the mall will reopen on Oct. 1, NorthJersey.com reported. The mall and its 450 stores and amusement parks have been shuttered since March. The news follows the reopening of the shopping center’s indoor ski park Tuesday (Sept. 1).
“We know that our community has been waiting to return, but it was important to us that we took the proper time and precautions needed to welcome guests back in the safest possible manner,” said American Dream’s co-CEO Mark Ghermezian in a statement.
Last week, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced indoor amusement centers like American Dream could reopen on Tuesday (Sept. 1). The only portion of the sprawling property to reopen was Big Snow, the indoor skiing and snowboarding park within the mall, the website reported.
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On Oct. 1, the property will reopen Nickelodeon Universe, the indoor theme park and home to Nickelodeon characters SpongeBob SquarePants, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues. In addition, The Rink, the 33,000-square-foot space National Hockey League regulation-size ice skating rink, will also open.
Both amusements opened last fall but closed after six months when the mall was closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Triple Five Group said shoppers can expect to shop at the 3-million square-foot complex’s many shops for the first time including H&M, Primark and Zara.
DreamWorks Water Park and Out of This World Blacklight Mini Golf will open with additional openings to come, the company said.
Still, the mega-mall has a list of guidelines for customers. Face coverings are required for entry; capacity size has been reduced; sanitizing and disinfecting has been increased throughout the property’s common areas and attractions; social distancing markings have been posted and plexiglass barriers and touchless programming have been installed.
The project was conceived in 2004 at a time when eCommerce giant Amazon was just getting off the ground. Since then, many retailers that might have planned to join the mall have gone bankrupt.