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Developer: New Jersey megamall known for garish exterior to be finished in 2016

American Dream, the unfinished oddly patterned shopping and entertainment complex, is pictured Sept. 1, 2011 in East Rutherford, N.J. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mel Evans

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American Dream, the unfinished oddly patterned shopping and entertainment complex, is pictured Sept. 1, 2011 in East Rutherford, N.J. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mel Evans

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The developer of a massive New Jersey megamall has signed a union agreement to jumpstart work on the long-delayed project.

Triple Five and the Bergen County Building & Construction Trades Council signed the deal Monday in Newark. The American Dream mall is projected to create 9,000 to 10,000 new jobs and be finished in late 2016.

The mall at the Meadowlands was originally known as Xanadu and scheduled to open in 2007. It languished during the economic downturn before Triple Five took over at the end of 2010.

Gov. Chris Christie was on hand for Monday's announcement. A few years ago he called the mall the ugliest building in New Jersey, if not America.

The developer says it will completely redo the pastel-hued exterior that has been the butt of many jokes.

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