EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ-One down, two to go. The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority has given its okay to the master plan for the $1.3-billion, 4.7-million-sf Meadowlands Xanadu project here. With the approval, developers Mills Corp. of Arlington, VA and Mack-Cali Realty Corp. of Cranford have just two more hurdles to clear.

Those approvals must still come from the New Jersey DEP, and from the US Army Corps of Engineers, both of which are expected to sign off on it. There is still pending legal action against the sprawling project, however, filed by rival developer Hartz Mountain Industries.

NJSEA approval was required because Xanadu, which will include everything from an indoor ski mountain, to a major retail component and office buildings, will rise on a state-owned site at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, surrounding the existing Continental Airlines Arena. Other components of the sports complex include Giants Stadium and the Meadowlands Race Track.

Mills and Mack-Cali had originally expected to officially break ground for the project on Sept. 29. However, that event has been moved back to Oct. 5, because all off the permits aren’t expected to be in place by the end of this month. And instead of a groundbreaking, Mills and Mack-Cali officials are now calling the event a ground-lease signing.

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