NJ’s American Dream partially opens –  but could it impact Palisades Center?

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After 15 years and some name changes, part of the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey has opened.

So far, an NHL-sized ice rink and the Nickelodeon Universe theme park have officially opened their doors. Next month, a water park will open. Officials believe the entire entertainment complex will be ready for business by March.

Some in Rockland County say the dream mall may soon be a nightmare for Rockland County. It’s just 30 miles south of Rockland's biggest tax producer, the Palisades Center.

County Executive Ed Day says if the “value of the Palisades Center Mall drops,” then school districts and towns taxes will have to foot the bill.

The Palisades Center is currently in a court battle with Clarkstown over its right to expand into space already in existence on the mall's fourth floor.

“The bottom line is the decision has to be made by the Town of Clarkstown. And I urge them to do something that makes them happy and equally unhappy,” says Day.

Rockland Business Association's Al Samuels also wants Clarkstown to allow the Palisades to expand. He is part of an economic task force created by Clarkstown that made the same recommendation earlier this month.

“It’s foolish not to. It's our biggest tourist attraction,” he told News 12.

The Palisades has an ice rink, movie theater, ropes course and many other attractions. People who spoke with News 12 says the mall has to add even more entertainment, possibly a hotel, if it wants to stay competitive.

According to Samuel, more than three-quarters of Palisades customers come from outside the county. And those people, says Samuels, may head straight to East Rutherford.

Clarkstown Town officials declined to comment on the future of the Palisades Mall. Pyramid Management, which owns the Palisades, didn't return News 12’s calls or emails.

 

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