EAST RUTHERFORD – Huge Ferris wheel and luxury retail wing with champagne bar are the latest attractions slated to open this fall at the American Dream shopping center.
The retail wing dubbed “The Avenue” will open on September 17 and will be based on Saks Fifth Avenue, which is making a comeback in New Jersey after closing its last Garden State store, at the Mall at Short Hills, it five years ago.
Saks Fifth Avenue also had a store at The Shops at Riverside in Hackensack which closed in 2014.
“We are delighted that Saks is returning to New Jersey as a presenter,” said Ken Downing, Creative Director at American Dream.
Construction is complete at the Saks Fifth Avenue store, which spans over 113,000 square feet on two levels.
The Avenue wing will open with more than 20 stores including Hermès, Saint Laurent, Tiffany & Co., Dolce & Gabbana and Mulberry.
Gourmet dining options will include Florida-based Carpaccio, which is also slated to open in September. This will be the restaurant’s first location in the northeast. Brüt is also opening, a champagne bar offering champagnes from all over the world with sweet and savory pairings.
The common space on the avenue will feature seating and sculptures designed by interior designer and New Jersey native Jonathan Adler, who also plans to open a store in the wing.
The mall wing was originally called “The Collection,” but Downing and Don Ghermezian, president of American Dream, changed their minds after seeing the space take shape.
“The space is so big,” Downing said. “Architecturally, it is unlike any business environment in the United States. Between double-height storefronts, sculpture garden spaces, it’s like being on an avenue in any incredible shopping destination on an international scale.
As more restaurants, shops and even art galleries open, Downing said it will be an organized collection of shops.
The opening will be the latest milestone after 17 years of discontinuous progress on the mall once known as Xanadu.
Just months after its final opening in 2020, the mall was forced to close due to COVID-19. It reopened in October.
Last month, the Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center opened to the public.
Another 80,000 square feet is still under construction at The Avenue, with announcements expected next month.
“The pandemic hasn’t been easy for any of us in retail,” Downing said. “But, people are engaged in American Dream and fascinated by the environment we have created. It sounds more optimistic and people are coming back.”
Wheel of dreams
Coinciding with the opening, the Ferris wheel called the Dream Wheel is on schedule to be completed.
The massive Ferris wheel was under construction on the side of the mall near the water park. It will have 18 taxis that can carry 16 to 18 people, Downing said.
“They will have stunning views of the Meadowlands, the Hudson River and the Manhattan skyline,” he said.
Customers can access the Dream Wheel on the third level of the mall via the food court.
The wing’s opening coincides with New York Fashion Week, and this annual event will be honored with American fashion shows in the avenue.
“It will be a nod and a nod to what’s going on at the Met Gala,” said Downing, referring to the red carpet benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art which attracts the rich and famous. in their most extravagant designer outfits.
The fashion exhibition will feature 21 collections from American fashion designers and artists that will remain in place during the fall season. Other fashion-related events will be announced at a later date.
Kristie Cattafi is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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