Bonds

Sales increase at muni bond-financed New Jersey megamall

Sales at New Jersey’s municipal bond-financed American Dream mega mall soared in the first quarter as consumers demonstrated continued demand following the busy holiday shopping period. 

Gross sales for the mall’s retail, attractions, entertainment, dining and parking rose 27% to just under $148 million in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, according to a report the borrower filed on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s EMMA bond disclosure website. 

Triple Five Group, the mall’s owner, borrowed about $1.1 billion in the municipal bond market through Wisconsin-based conduit Public Finance Authority to help finance the $5 billion project. 

Sales at the municipal bond-financed American Dream mall in New Jersey were up year-over-year for the first quarter.

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About $300 million of the securities, backed by New Jersey economic development grants sold to investors to fund the development, didn’t make their February interest payment, according to a an EMMA filing that same month, the fourth straight time that the semi-annual interest payment was missed

The mall opened in October 2019 and its attractions include an indoor ski slope, the largest indoor theme park in North America and a water park. While sales are picking up, they remain off the pace of the nearly $2 billion that a 2017 study projected the mall would bring in during its first year of operations. 

Balenciaga opened a store at American Dream in the first quarter and Gucci will open a two-story flagship store this spring, according to American Dream spokesman Gregg Schwartz. Hasbro will open a 41,500 square-foot arcade this quarter. He didn’t comment on the first quarter sales figures. 

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