From the NY Times:
As the half-built, multibillion-dollar Xanadu shopping and entertainment complex in the Meadowlands unravels along with its parent company’s finances, some top officials conceded the failure on Thursday and called for New Jersey to intervene, or even get rid of the developer.
It appears unlikely that the developer, the Mills Corporation, can finish the $2 billion project at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, and real estate experts and stock analysts say it is hardly more likely that the state can find another developer to finish it as planned. Even if it did, New Jersey could stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars on a project that many criticized as ill conceived from the start.
“I’m deeply troubled,” Gov. Jon S. Corzine said, referring to huge cost overruns and the expected dissolution of Mills, the company building Meadowlands Xanadu, a Disneyesque mall under construction on a huge swath of state land at the sports complex.
Mr. Corzine said at a news conference that his administration was deeply involved in trying to salvage Xanadu, although Gary Rose, the governor’s executive director for economic development, declined to discuss the issue. But Senate President Richard J. Codey urged the state to “pull the plug” on Mills and find a new plan and a new developer.
“It’s obvious that Mills can’t get this done, and anybody who says so has been dancing with Dorothy down the yellow brick road for too long,” said Senator Codey, who has long been a detractor of the Xanadu complex.
Rich Moore, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said that even if the state negotiates a new agreement for a scaled-down project, “there will be pain all around.”
“The state will probably be in a position where they’ll have to help out, either the old guys a little bit or the new guys a little bit,” Mr. Moore said. “If the new guys say to the state, ‘I guess we can’t do anything unless you give us $100 million for some infrastructure,’ what are they going to say?”