American Dream megamall in New Jersey sets March opening date for first round of retail shops

Key Points
  • Retail shops will begin to open at the American Dream on March 19.
  • Those shops include Aritzia, Zara, Sephora, H&M and Old Navy.
  • A luxury wing is scheduled to open in September.
This April 25, 2019 file photo shows the exterior view of the construction site of the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, N.J.
Julio Cortez | AP

Nearly two decades in the making, the American Dream megamall in New Jersey is preparing to open its first round of retail shops to customers.

Shops will begin to open March 19, the property's developers, Triple Five Group, announced Thursday.

The brands set to open their doors for business include Aritzia, Zara, Sephora, H&M, Uniqlo, Primark, Ulta Beatuy and Old Navy.

Triple Five said retailers will continue to open up at American Dream through 2020. The mall's luxury wing, called The Collections, will open in September. There, customers looking to spend will find a range of brands from Hermes to Gucci, along with a glitzy Saks Fifth Avenue department store.

Barneys New York was planning to open at American Dream, but the company has since gone bankrupt, and a replacement for that space has yet to have been announced.

All retail shops at American Dream must remain dark on Sundays because of New Jersey's Bergen County's blue laws.

Since the project's timeline has been drawn out for so long, American Dream has quite literally been shaped as the retail industry has been flipped on its head.

When ground broke in 2004, under the project's original developers, e-commerce behemoth Amazon's ascent was only beginning. Many retailers have since gone bankrupt.

American Dream is expected to be a mix of about 45% retail and 55% entertainment venues. Triple Five Group is expecting 40 million visitors annually, similar to what the developer sees at Mall of America. The complex a few miles west of midtown Manhattan is about 90% leased.

A Nickelodeon theme park and an NHL-regulation-size ice skating rink were among the first to open last fall, and an indoor snow park for skiers and snowboarders opened in the winter.

The world's first DreamWorks Animation Water Park was also supposed to open last year, but the plans were postponed until March 19, along with the first wave of retailers.

American Dream's next wave of openings, however, comes as the deadly coronavirus spreads globally, hampering travel and denting tourism spending. A spokesperson for American Dream was not immediately available to comment on any potential impact from the coronavirus.

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