April 28, 2016
By: Myles Ma
EAST RUTHERFORD — Triple Five, the developer of American Dream Meadowlands, is considering changes to a $1 billion bond offering for the mall, including using a Wisconsin state agency rather than the borough of East Rutherford to issue most of the bonds, The Record reported.
Triple Five announced earlier in April that it would delay the sale of the bonds,which will go toward financing the 91-acre mall and entertainment complex. East Rutherford agreed in 2015 to issue $675 million in bonds for American Dream, while the state Sports and Exposition Authority agreed to a $350 million issue.
Triple Five is discussing with state officials whether it can make the bond offering tax-exempt to allow it to pay investors a lower interest rate.
The project total cost is estimated to come in at roughly $3.18 billion
East Rutherford may not end up issuing any of the bonds, depending how those discussions go, Mayor James Cassella told the Record. Cassella said Triple Five told him it may instead issue the bonds through the Public Finance Authority of Wisconsin, one of the few state-based agencies that can issue tax-exempt bonds for projects outside its borders.
David Hansel, president of Alpha Funding Solutions, a New Jersey real estate lender, said further delays could spook potential investors. While Triple Five has a track record of completing large projects like American Dream, the appetite for investors to back such projects could change.
“The longer this gets dragged out, the further we get along in the market, there’s a possibility that it loses momentum and the other pieces of financing they need to finish could fall,” he said.
American Dream is expected to cost $3.18 billion. The delay in financing has not kept businesses from signing leases at American Dream, including an aquarium, a dine-in movie theater and a number of restaurants and retailers.
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