A Mega Dream

As one of North America’s top ten construction companies, PCL is no stranger to building megaprojects throughout the United States and Canada. One of these is American Dream in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


Slated to open in 2019, the American Dream megaproject will soon become a reality to an anticipated 40 million visitors annually. The largest retail and entertainment complex on the East Coast will span over three million square feet and boasts more than 450 stores, services, and amenities.

A Mega Challenge

What defines a megaproject? Is it sheer size and square footage, or the large-scale investment needed to successfully complete it? Apart from its breathtaking dimensions and cost, American Dream’s statistics place it among the largest of megaprojects: three of the largest pile contractors and three of the largest concrete trade contractors in the United States, as well as Canada’s largest steel contractor, have collectively worked more than two million hours to date.  

“With a project that required more than 18 cranes erected on-site at once, including seven tower cranes and a massive Manitowoc 650, so it was paramount that all people, from district leadership to every single trade contractor, operate at the highest level of constant communication,” said Tim Davenport, general superintendent. “Everyone on the project team operated with an incredible amount of discipline, because if the discipline wasn’t there, the job would not be successful.” The logistics of the project were discussed daily, as at the project’s peak more than 1,700 people were on-site. The size of American Dream means individual project managers are handling scopes bigger than the size of an average project in its entirety. “It was imperative that everyone hear the same message all day, every day,” said Steve Schmalz, operations manager. “The level of sophistication and tools used to communicate throughout the project, from the client to our project team to our subtrades, was therefore very high. If one car were to go off track, it would disrupt the entire train.”

Lasting Partnerships

Strong partnerships have been the foundation for success at American Dream. “Any project requires good relationships to be a success, and the root of good relationships is communication,” said Steve Schmalz. “Every project is unique, and the communication strategies necessary to ensure effective decisions, directions, and updates must also be unique—one size certainly doesn’t fit all.”

From the client, Triple Five Group, to partners and trade contractors, everyone is working cohesively towards one goal: to create an experience that combines the best in global retail, dining, arts, and entertainment. Soon the project team, along with the 40 million anticipated visitors, will be able to relish the success of the megaproject we will know as American Dream. ​​​