EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-Hartz Mountain Industries, one of the losing bidders for the rights to redevelop the Continental Arena site within the Meadowlands Sports Complex here, has filed suit yet again to halt the winning bidders. The Arlington, VA-based Mills Corp. and the Cranford, NJ-based Mack-Cali Realty had hoped to officially break ground on their $1.3 billion Meadowlands Xanadu in late September, but pending legal action, that date is in doubt.

Hartz’s suit, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, Hackensack, alleges that Mills and Mack-Cali started construction without all of the proper state and federal permits in place. While the groundbreaking has been slated for September 29, sitework is already under way, including site testing and the re-routing of on-site utilities. Superior Court Judge Sybil Moses has given Mills and Mack-Cali, as well as the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, owner of the site, until August 12 to respond to the allegations.

From a permitting standpoint, the project is a complex one. Among other things, it requires a special permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers because it calls for filling in several acres of wetlands. NJSEA officials are expected to counter that the work already under way does not require a permit.

If the project does move forward, it will bring nearly five million sf of retail, recreation, entertainment and office space to the site. The future of the 20,000-seat Continental Arena has not been determined, and the project is scheduled to move ahead around it.

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