Lenders take control of stalled Xanadu project

East Rutherford, N.J. The controversial and long-delayed Xanadu entertainment and retail complex in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J., may have yet another chance at revival.

A consortium of five lenders that hold the secured debt on Xanadu announced Tuesday that they will acquire control of the project from the previous ownership group in order to facilitate its completion.

The group said it is in negotiations with several entertainment and retail operators; the selected company will be charged with refinishing the widely criticized exterior of the building and implementing a full re-branding campaign for the project.

"The transfer of control of this complex to the Lender Group is consistent with Governor Christie and Commission Chair Jon Hanson's commitment to realizing the original promise of this project as a world-class facility and economic driver for Bergen County and the entire State," said Michael Beckerman, spokesperson for the Lender Group. "This action creates a strong foundation to effect the seamless transfer of ownership in order to complete this project as quickly as possible so that it is open and flourishing as an established visitor destination in advance of the 2014 Super Bowl."

Xanadu’s opening is expected to generate thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in sales and payroll taxes for New Jersey, as well as significant revenue for municipalities in Bergen County through the PILOT program.

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