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American Dream Megamall To Be Redesigned, Open In 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The developer of a massive New Jersey megamall has signed a union agreement to jumpstart work on the long-delayed project.

Triple Five and the Bergen County Building & Construction Trades Council signed the deal Monday in East Rutherford. The American Dream shopping and entertainment complex is projected to create 9,000 to 10,000 new jobs and be finished in late 2016.

"This is going to include an enclosed amusement park, an indoor water park, performing arts theater and the only indoor ski facility in New Jersey," Gov. Chris Christie told reporters, including WCBS 880's Ginny Kosola, at Monday's announcement.

American Dream Mall To Be Redesigned, Open In 2016

The mall at the Meadowlands was originally known as Xanadu and scheduled to open in 2007. It languished during the economic downturn before Triple Five took over at the end of 2010. The project was also stalled by lawsuits filed by the Giants and Jets, the tenants of the Meadowlands' Met Life Stadium, over the design and traffic concerns. But the teams agreed to drop the lawsuit in March.

Christie has been a vocal critic of the design of the existing complex.

"One of the first projects is going to be getting that ugly outside of this building the hell off the side of the building," the governor said.

Triple Five's Paul Ghermezian said the mismatched colored tiles on the building's exterior will be replaced with 80-foot-tall glass wall, Kosola reported.

"A lot of natural light," he described. "It'll look great from the highway, from the turnpike."

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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