LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Colony Capital Acquisitions, LLC, a special purpose subsidiary of Colony Capital, announced today that it has completed the previously announced recapitalization of the Meadowlands Xanadu™, a unique sports, leisure, shopping and family entertainment destination development project with 2.2 million square feet of entertainment and retail space to be built in northern New Jersey. Under the agreement, Colony will lead the $1.5 billion additional financing needed to complete the project, including $500 million in equity and approximately $1 billion in debt and additional capital. The debt is being financed by Credit Suisse. Colony is the managing general partner in a joint venture that also includes the Dune Real Estate Funds, KanAm USA Management XXII Limited Partnership, and The Mills Corporation (NYSE:MLS).
“We are pleased to have the complex negotiations of the last few months behind us and are extremely excited about the project’s momentum. The financing, major tenants, and long-term vision are now in place to make Meadowlands Xanadu the entertainment destination of choice for millions of residents in the tri-state region. We believe this will be the nation’s premier entertainment-oriented retail venue,” said Richard Saltzman, President of Colony Capital.
“This agreement confirms and harmonizes the interests of Meadowlands Xanadu, the Giants and Jets, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority,” said Gary Rose, Chief of the Governor’s Office of Economic Growth. “We look forward to accelerated activity at the Meadowlands, the eventual opening of an extraordinary entertainment and shopping venue, and the best new stadium in the NFL.”
George R. Zoffinger, President and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, said, “We look forward to working in partnership with Colony and the other members of the venture toward the successful completion of a fantastic project.”
Meadowlands Xanadu will be composed of five distinct districts, each offering interactive experiences and branded activities and events in the areas of fashion, food and home, entertainment, children’s activities, and sports.
The project has signed leases with six anchor tenants occupying over 500,000 square feet: Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outdoor lifestyle outfitter; AEG Live, operator of a 2,250-seat concert hall for live performances; Muvico, an upscale movie going experience featuring 18 screens with stadium seating and a full-service restaurant; Strike MX, an upmarket martini bar with bowling alleys; Forever 21, an apparel store targeting young women; and The Children’s Place, a national children’s retailer.
In addition, the project will be anchored by the Snow Dome, a 780-foot ski slope for skiing and snowboarding, complete with equipment rental, a lodge and associated amenities; Wannado City, a 60,000 square foot playroom where children can experience hundreds of career possibilities in an indoor city built to fit their size; a Culinary Arts Center, with live cooking demonstrations; the largest ferris wheel in North America, offering panoramic views of New York City; and Sky Venture, a unique simulated sky diving adventure.
“We couldn’t be more excited to launch our first New Jersey store at Meadowlands Xanadu, which will bring our world-famous retail experience to our loyal customers in the region,” said Dennis Highby, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cabela’s. “We believe our brand of hands-on, try-it-out retail adventure will be a great fit for a sports, retail and entertainment destination that is all about providing first-class style, experience and fun. We are also very excited about the new structure and ownership team now in place.”
Colony will be the managing partner of the venture, joined by a group led by Laurence C. Siegel and other Mills executives who will transition to the new partnership and have been involved in the project since its inception. “I am pleased to partner with Colony Capital as together we see this venture to fruition. Meadowlands Xanadu will be one of the most exciting destinations anywhere with attractions and activities for every age group. I believe it is the most imaginative and exciting development project being executed today,” Mr. Siegel said.
The project team, along with Medialink LLC, will work with Fortune 100 companies that seek to showcase, highlight and feature their brands and products in an unparalleled and sophisticated digital environment. Meadowlands Xanadu offers extraordinary branding and sponsorship opportunities for major corporations in a state-of-the-art entertainment and retail environment. The interactive content could set a precedent for how brands and corporations activate naming and presenting rights opportunities in a highly trafficked destination.
The venture has confirmed that it has construction agreements with Joseph Jingoli and Sons, Turner Construction Company, and the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company. Construction is currently underway, and the partnership hopes to achieve a target completion date of late 2008.
The recapitalized partnership plans to honor the approximately $25 million in financial commitments previously made to the metropolitan region by the partnership. New Jersey Transit Authority plans to construct a rail spur off the Pascack Valley Line, including a new station located near the stadium, providing rail access to the Sports Complex from New Jersey and Manhattan. The total estimated transit time from Penn Station in Manhattan is 28 minutes. The tentative completion for the rail line is spring 2009.
“We’re thrilled to take part in creating what we believe to be a truly outstanding retail and entertainment asset. We look forward to our partnership with Colony and KanAm and our involvement with Meadowlands Xanadu,” said Dan Neidich, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Dune Capital Management LP.
“We are delighted to be working with Colony to restore financial stability to this development and move the Meadowlands Xanadu project forward. We share the same commitment to this unique entertainment and retail destination,” said KanAm President James Braithwaite.
Under the final terms of the agreement, Colony, Dune and KanAm will join the existing partnership with Colony replacing Mills (who will now be a limited partner) as managing general partner. Colony, Dune and KanAm will commit $500 million in equity to complete the project. The Partnership also will be buying out Mack-Cali’s retail interest in the project but will continue to be partners with Mack-Cali in the office and hotel components. The Mills no longer has any future financial obligations post closing related to the project.
About Colony Capital
Founded in 1991 by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Barrack Jr., Colony is a private, international investment firm focusing primarily on real estate-related assets, securities and operating companies. The firm has invested approximately $20 billion in over 8,400 assets through various corporate, portfolio and complex property transactions. Colony has a staff of more than 160 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York, Boston, Hawaii, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Beirut, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo. For more information visit www.colonyinc.com.
About the Dune Real Estate Funds
The Dune Real Estate Funds make opportunistic investments in a broad range of real estate-related assets, portfolios, joint ventures and operating companies worldwide. The funds are managed by Dune Capital Management LP, an investment management firm formed by Daniel Neidich, Steven Mnuchin and Chip Seelig. Dune Capital Management LP has approximately $2.5 billion of capital under management and is based in New York.
About Kan Am
KanAm is one of Germany’s leading private syndicators and asset managers of international real estate investments. Since its inception in 1978 the group has invested and managed a portfolio valued at approximately $10 billion in the US and Europe on behalf of private and institutional investors through publicly offered real estate funds and private placements. Since 1994, KanAm has invested approximately $1 billion in equity in various projects with The Mills. KanAm currently has three representatives on The Mills’ Board of Directors: James Braithwaite, Dietrich von Boetticher and Franz von Perfall. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.kanam.com.
About The Mills Corporation
The Mills Corporation, based in Chevy Chase, MD, is a developer, owner and manager of a diversified portfolio of retail destinations, including regional shopping malls and market-dominant retail and entertainment centers. It currently owns 39 properties in the United States totaling approximately 48 million square feet. In addition, The Mills has various projects in development, redevelopment or under construction. The Mills is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker: MLS. For more information, visit the Company’s website at www.themills.com.
About Credit Suisse
As one of the world's leading banks, Credit Suisse provides its clients with investment banking, private banking and asset management services worldwide. Credit Suisse offers advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is active in over 50 countries and employs approximately 40,000 people. Credit Suisse's parent company, Credit Suisse Group, is a leading global financial services company headquartered in Zurich. Credit Suisse Group's registered shares (CSGN) are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CSR), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com