American Dream lawsuits are stacking up. Here’s why — and how they compare to other malls

September 26, 2023

The American Dream entertainment complex has faced an onslaught of 82 lawsuits since 2018, encompassing issues such as unpaid construction bills, injuries at its attractions, and defaults on loans, significantly surpassing neighboring malls in legal troubles. The legal battles involve different parties, including the mall itself, developer Ameream, and owner Triple Five.

The mall’s financial struggles have been compounded by factors like inflation and pandemic-related closures, leading to losses soaring from $60 million in 2021 to $245 million in 2022. In an effort to navigate these challenges, American Dream’s owners are appealing for a lower tax assessment, aiming to renegotiate terms to bolster profitability and repay debts. Despite the lawsuits, a report suggests that increased cash flows may result from continued tenant openings. Legal experts suggest that the root cause of these lawsuits lies in unpaid bills and a complex financial structure, rather than typical injury-related cases seen in amusement parks and malls.

Marc Pfeiffer, assistant director at Rutgers University’s Bloustein Local Government Research Center, points out that the mall’s financial woes can be attributed to changes in the economy over the past five years, including inflation and pandemic-related closures. He notes that the mall’s revenue flow and cash flow have been severely compromised by these economic changes.

Northjersey.com, September 21, 2023

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