Meadowlands American Dream May Be Alive And Well [AUDIO]
For the past several months the mega-entertainment extravaganza project in the Meadowlands called American Dream, which used to be known as Xanadu, has been financially stalled. But now there's word it could soon be revived.
Rutgers economist James Hughes says if the project does rev up again, "It's going to be very beneficial in terms of the building industry, the construction industry because that's still suffering from recession - we're going to see a lot of construction jobs in the near future if the project gets rolling."
He says there could also be a second, long-term benefit, as well, since "the goal of the project is to attract visitors from across the country and around the world…and the business model for the American Dream is really to serve a market much, much larger than New Jersey - so it's not going to depend solely on New Jersey clientele…the idea is to draw people even internationally as well as throughout the country - so that represents really a wealth-creating activity- an activity that will draw out of state dollars into New Jersey."
Hughes adds, if state officials ever give the go-ahead for casino-style gambling in the Meadowlands, which might possibly happen 3 or 4 years down the road, that could provide another huge economic boost.
"Because you have 8 million people living in New York City alone, and if you could draw those people to support a gaming operation in the Meadowlands, we'd be bringing a lot of New York dollars into the state - that is a major, major economic locomotive, or has the potential to be a major economic locomotive."
He also points out the American Dream business plan, "the economic model for the enterprise really doesn't have any competition in the New York metropolitan area, and so given its proximity to New York City, given its proximity to Newark Airport - the chances for success I think are pretty good…strong economies really depend on industries that bring in dollars from outside the state, and in this instance the American Dream is that kind of an industry - that is, it brings dollars into New Jersey from out of state."