Rutgers economist Bruce Mizrach is available to comment on a new Rutgers working paper that analyzes the bond financing and risks of the American Dream mall in East Rutherford, New Jersey, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Mall traffic in New Jersey is up more than 130% since the economy bottomed in early April,” Mizrach said. “But visits are still down 37% compared to last year. The mega-malls -- Mall of America in Minnesota and the American Dream in New Jersey, owned by the same group -- have been more severely impacted. American Dream is down 77% compared to the week of Nov. 4, 2019.”
“Taxpayers in New Jersey have provided more than $1 billion in support of the American Dream. In June 2017, $800 million in municipal bond financing was issued to complete construction. The bonds have fallen between 15% and 27% from their peaks in contrast with Hudson Yards in New York, whose bonds rallied after big declines in March. Hudson Yards’ more diversified rental base, including office and residential space, may appeal to bond investors. However, the problems of American Dream differ from New Jersey’s outlook. As the economy opens, the state’s general obligation bonds have begun to recover to their pre-pandemic levels.”
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Mizrach, a professor in at Rutgers-New Brunswick’s Department of Economics, is the founder and editor of Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics and Econometrics, which uses nonlinear analysis to understand economic and financial markets.
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