Westfield Sweetens its World Trade Center Deal

0611construction.gifWith plans for the World Trade Center redevelopment in limbo, Westfield has made a bold offer to get its retail plan for the site moving:

“Australian shopping-mall company Westfield Group is offering to foot the $1.3 billion bill to build a retail complex at the World Trade Center site in a bid to break an impasse and seize a bigger role in the site’s redevelopment.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner of the World Trade Center site, warmly greeted the proposal, which closely resembles the plan the agency has been advocating. The Port Authority is at loggerheads with private developer Larry Silverstein, who has rights to develop three office towers on the site. Their long-running dispute, coupled with the recession, is threatening to further delay efforts to rebuild the complex, which was destroyed close to eight years ago in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Under Westfield’s plan, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, 540,000 square feet of contiguous retail space would be developed both underground and at street level, about double the retail space that existed in the original World Trade Center. Westfield says sections could open within two years, in time for the 10th anniversary of the attacks, and it would be fully up and running before 2014, when the transit hub is scheduled for completion. Westfield’s proposal would require some modifications in the site’s master plan to make room for more prominent retail space.”

From The Wall Street Journal

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