“World Trade Center shopping-mall owner Westfield Group is furiously chasing Brookfield Properties in the race to be the king of downtown retail,” Steve Cuozzo reports for The New York Post.

“Westfield, which controls all the retail space at the WTC, has already lined up retailers for 90 percent of the first sites to come on line — about 360,000 square feet at the 16-acre site, including in the Transportation Hub Oculus and in the lower levels of Larry Silverstein’s office towers two and three, sources said,” Cuozzo reports. “Westfield is said to have signed a lease with Victoria’s Secret — and is said to be close to deals with dozens of retailers, including Apple, J. Lindberg, Tory Burch, Theory, Michael Kors, Swatch and Abercrombie & Fitch, as well as several glamorous international brands. Asking rents are in the $500-to-$600 a square foot range.”

World Trade Center (WTC) Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) Transportation Hub by architect Santiago Calatrava

World Trade Center (WTC) Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) Transportation Hub by architect Santiago Calatrava

 
Cuozzo reports, “Westfield is paying the Port Authority $612 million for a long-term controlling interest in a joint venture for the WTC’s retail. New York dealmakers irked that Westfield handles leasing in-house rather than use outside brokers were nonetheless impressed with its prowess. Despite skepticism about designers and mass-marketers taking the plunge into untested waters at the WTC, one broker noted, “Westfield has extraordinary leverage over stores which are already tenants in their malls around the US and the world… Another downtown dealmaker said, ‘Not all the Trade Center space is in the same demand, but the Oculus is on fire.'”

Read more in the full article here.