SpongeBob Squarepants is now a resident of the Meadowlands….sort of. The undersea cartoon is one of the Nickelodeon properties that will be part of a theme park announced for American Dream Meadowlands.
According to NJ.com:
Triple Five, the developer of American Dream, and Nickelodeon say Nickelodeon Universe will be the largest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere at 8.5 acres. Its rides and attractions will be based on Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Blaze and the Monster Machines. Triple Five and Nickelodeon have worked together before, opening a Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of American in Minnesota, another Triple Five property.
“Based on the success we have seen with Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America we are excited to bring the number one entertainment brand for kids to American Dream,” Don Ghermezian, president of Triple Five, said. The company previously announced a partnership with DreamWorks on a water park at American Dream featuring characters from films like “Shrek,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Kung Fu Panda.”
American Dream covers about 3 million square feet and has signed up tenantsincluding Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. Aside from the indoor amusement and theme parks, the complex will include a 16-story indoor ski slope, a 285-foot Ferris wheel, a Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center. Triple Five hopes to secure $2.7 billion in financing, including $1.15 billion in public bonds, by the end of September to resume construction on the long-delayed project. The site has been idle since April, when the developer ran into trouble funding the work.
The project was first proposed under the name Xanadu in 2002, but was racked by a series of delays that have left it unfinished. Triple Five, New Jersey and previous developers have poured billions of dollars into American Dream.