Westfield World Trade Center is a shopping center at the World Trade Center complex which is operated and managed by Westfield Corporation. The mall opened on August 16, 2016. It replaces an earlier shopping center called The Mall at the World Trade Center, which was located in the concourse area of the original World Trade Center until it was destroyed on September 11, 2001.
Original mall (1970–2001)
Prior to 9/11, the mall had been leased to the Westfield Group by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner of the complex. Westfield intended to rename the mall Westfield Shoppingtown World Trade Center, and embark on a major expansion and renovation program. Plans called for the addition of 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of new mall space and a few well-known sit-down restaurants. This renovation never happened due to its destruction.
The second Mall at the World Trade Center has roughly 365,000 square feet (33,900 m2) of retail space, which will once again make it the largest shopping mall in Manhattan. Although the new mall is only spread over roughly one half of the original mall’s footprint (due to the new space required for the below-grade National September 11 Memorial & Museum), the mall is double-level, whereas the original mall was a single level. Three additional levels are above-grade on the lower floors of 2 World Trade Center and 3 World Trade Center, while 4 World Trade Center houses four above-grade levels. The World Trade Center PATH station’s headhouse, the “Oculus,” also hosts some retail space.
According to developer Larry Silverstein (whose firm Silverstein Properties was replaced by Westfield Corporation as the developer):
“The design we have developed with the Port Authority calls for not only rebuilding the retail space that was lost on 9/11, but going above and beyond what was there before. We want to create a real destination for visitors and shoppers, a center that will share many of the attributes of the city’s great retail hubs.”
Construction on the One World Trade Center portion of the mall began in mid-2007. By February 2012, Westfield entered into an agreement with the Port Authority, which owns the rest of the World Trade Center site, to jointly own and manage the mall, which will be named Westfield World Trade Center. At the same time, Westfield began marketing space in the mall and opened a leasing office in the new 7 World Trade Center. In December 2013, the Port Authority sold its remaining stake in the retail development to Westfield. This also brings retail at the World Trade Center to Westfield’s complete control. The mall was 80% leased as of June 2014.
The mall opened on August 16, 2016, with a concert headlined by John Legend and Leslie Odom Jr., and the opening of a food court and stores such as Pandora and Apple. In total, there were sixty stores in the mall when it opened.