If you, like many, had the luxury of escaping the office early on July 3 in an effort to make your way toward 4th of July plans, there’s a chance you may have missed the headline making its way through the NJ community: The American Dream will open on October 25.
For those who follow headlines regularly, or have been keeping tabs on the mega-mall’s progress, then you know we’ve been here before. And before that. And probably before that, too.
Numerous times since the 17-year history of its construction, NJ residents have been informed of the American Dream’s launch dates, soft-launch dates, opening dates, and the list of companies coming and going from the roster (anyone remember the original plans to include a Toys ‘R’ Us?).
Just this year we were told “March 2019!”, only for that to hit a snag and a follow-up date of “late summer 2019.” Now we’re looking at our third launch date of 2019, and that’s just this year alone.
Not surprisingly, the mall has been somewhat of a running joke since its original announcement. Sure, these things take time, especially things that span over three million square feet, but I don’t think anyone expected the project to be of voting age by the time it opened its doors.
I was a few blocks from the construction for almost four years while living in Clifton, right off Route 3 by the Tick Tock Diner/Trader Joe’s area. At the time, I think it was still called Xanadu (although by now you can see why it’s hard to keep track), and was already on its second developer out of the three. In fact, the monstrosity and its awful paint/siding job reminded me of Buffalo, New York, for some reason, complete with pastels and drab browns and yellows. If you’ve ever been to Buffalo, you might agree.
Just this past March I spent two weeks driving to and from Hackensack, and was fairly shocked at the progress of the construction. In just those two weeks alone I saw practically every window of the glass atrium placed, and noted some store names slapped up on the side of the building as well.
The mall will certainly be a destination for residents throughout the state, but one thing out-of-county residents will have to keep in mind is those Bergen County blue laws, which prohibit the retail locations in the mall from operating on Sundays.
So while the restaurant and entertainment will remain open on Sundays, if you want that full NJ mall experience – complete with the traffic, parking, and retail – then make sure you plan to visit on a Saturday or any weekday sometime after October 25.
That is, until the next opening date announcement…