A project like American Dream takes much planning, and money.  This project was first conceptualized back in 1996.  The property has been bought and sold several times and the concept has changed just as many times.

Anyone remember Xanadu?  It looked like Joseph's Technicolor Dream Coat exploded on the building.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg via Getty Images

When Municipalities have land they want developed.  There's a program they can use to entice developers to build in their town.  The program is called PILOT or Payment In Lieu Of Taxes.

In simple terms, developers are exempt from paying property taxes, and instead make pre-determined payments directly to the municipality.  This amount is usually lower than they'd pay in taxes and has a predetermined lifespan.

According to a report at Bloomberg.com, the town of East Rutherford is suing the owners of American Dream, Triple 5 Group, for failing to make PILOT payments of 7.5 million dollars and $400,000 in sewer bills for the land around the mall.

The company owns the rights to build things like a minor league baseball stadium, and a hotel and office buildings.

The suit claims payments were to be made once the mall opened for business.  According to the Bloomberg report, the suit claims,

“The truth is simple: Defendants would prefer not to pay the borough because American Dream opened shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic, closed for a matter of months, and — according to widely circulated reports in the press — has struggled financially,”

For their part, a spokesperson for Triple 5 Group told Bloomberg, they intend to vigorously defend themselves.

NJ PILOT Program | Payment in Lieu of Taxes (eisneramper.com)

American Dream is behind in over $7.5M payment to N.J. borough, lawsuit says (msn.com)

American Dream Mall Owes NJ Town $8 Million, Lawsuit Says - Bloomberg

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