American Dream on Thursday set March 19 as the opening of the DreamWorks Animation Water Park, along with the first wave of retailers — fast fashion and other stores with large footprints, including H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Primark, Aritzia, Old Navy, Ulta Beauty, Sephora and Morphe.
The Collections, the luxury wing of the 3.3 million-square-foot entertainment and shopping center in East Rutherford, N.J., will bow in early September. While American Dream has said for some time that a portion of its retail offering would be unveiled in March, it didn’t specify the stores that would be opening until now.
Ken Downing, chief creative officer of American Dream parent Triple Five, said, “It was always my intention to open during New York Fashion Week. The fashion brands in the luxury wing deserve their own celebration. Although January is the official start of the calendar, as a fashion person, September is the beginning of the fashion season.
“I’m planning a fashion show for the luxury wing with the brands that are opening stores,” Downing said. “Besides the individual retailers, we’ll also have Saks Fifth Avenue, which has many wonderful brands. We want to capture the international press and international visitors and also the influencers and designers that will be visiting for NYFW, and will be part of the project.”
With Barneys New York and its Freds restaurant out of the picture, American Dream is wasting no time in lining up tenants to fill the 50,000 square feet leased by the luxury specialty retailer prior to its bankruptcy filing in August and subsequent sale to Authentic Brands Group, which closed all seven stores.
New tenants include Alexander Wang and Giada, a Milan-based luxury brand designed by Gabriele Colangelo that recently opened a store near Hermès on Newbury Street in Boston. Previously announced tenants include an 8,000-square-foot Hermès flagship, 130,000-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue unit with Gucci and Louis Vuitton in-store shops, Moncler, Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Mulberry, Tiffany & Co. and Watches of Switzerland.
“A couple of important brands are interested in Barneys’ location. It’s a wonderful location. There are tours daily [of American Dream] and people are getting excited about the luxury wing,” Downing said, declining to name potential retailers.
Following the October launch of Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, the over-the-top water park will feature an ogre swamp on Shrek’s Sinkhole Slammer, the world’s largest indoor wave pool, according to American Dream; two themed Surf’s Up Surf Riders, Bubbly Lazy River and Penguins of Madagascar Play Zone. Food and beverage locations are works in progress, and cabanas designed by Jonathan Adler will arrive in late May or early June.