A long held dream of Westfield Chairman Frank Lowy, the new Manhattan project is set to change the game in shopping. Co-CEO Peter Lowy told the Australian Financial Review Magazine, “It will be a complete and utter change of the Westfield model, with new mall businesses you have never seen.”
The new shopping precinct will offer over 100 local and global brands spread out over 365,000 sqm – catering to everything from fashion to lifestyle to technology. The precinct will offer fine food and dining options as well as artisanal coffee, pop-ups, and first-to-market restaurateurs. But what sets it apart from the standard shopping centre is what it connects to in the public space around it.
Because the Westfield World Trade Center is also the port of entry to Lower Manhattan, it will provide connections to 13 subway trains and a number of ferries that connect Manhattan to New Jersey and Brooklyn. The transport hub is connected to the Westfield through a central space known as The Oculus.
Speaking of the new configuration, Lowy notes the centre is “first and foremost, a transportation hub, and the shopping centre is designed around it.”
As Lower Manhattan’s new meeting point, Westfield World Trade Center will be the gateway to points of interest like the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and 1 WTC Observatory. The Oculus will see around 60,000 neighborhood residents, 300,000 daily commuters and an additional 15 million global travelers, expected to converge by 2017.
Westfield’s official opening will be marked by a private party before being opened up to the public. A Family Day celebration will be open to the public, which will include hourly performances in The Oculus and samplings from food vendors for the entire afternoon.