“Something that no one can imagine”: Westfield’s Lowy on NYC WTC redevelopment

Australian retail giant Westfield has this week announced the signing of a $1.25 billion joint venture with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to lease the retail space at New York’s World Trade Center.

The deal represents a major milestone in the historic reconstruction of the former site of the twin towers which were destroyed in the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The redevelopment will feature 352,000 square feet (32,700 square metres) of premium retail space  over five levels – two below-ground and three above-ground to be housed within 4 World Trade Center (under construction) and inside 3 World Trade Center which is still in planning.

Westfield Co-Chief Executive Peter Lowy said the offering was set to be a showcase for the company.

“We’re going to do something that no one can imagine,” Lowy told Reuters during the International Council of Shopping Centers annual convention, or RECon.

According to Reuters, Lowy said Westfield planned to be selective about possible tenants.

“We have to design the retail to suit the customer,” Lowy said.

Under the deal, Westfield will also be entitled to operate an additional 90,000 square feet (8,361 square metres) among the 8.8 million square feet (817,546 square metres) of office space.

The majority of the retail space would be located within the a 13-line train station known as the Transportation Hub.

The total cost of the World Trade centre redevelopment is anticipated to reach $14.8 billion, approximately $3.8 billion more than originally expected.