Westfield Group has agreed to buy the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s 50% interest in the World Trade Centre retail premises for $US800 million.
This was one 2 major announcements on Wednesday by the group. The other was to restructure.
Westfield co-chief executive Peter Lowy said: “Since 2001, Westfield has believed in & remained committed to investing in this site & in this city. We take great pride & pleasure in amplifying that commitment today.”
Port authority chairman David Samson said the sale was a significant step in its continuing efforts to refocus agency resources on its core transport mission.
Westfield originally acquired its 99-year lease interest in the World Trade Centre retail facilities in July 2001 – 2 months before the centre was destroyed by 2 of the 4 planes used by Al Qaeda to fly into landmark buildings on 11 September. The port authority & Westfield entered into a joint venture to own & operate the new retail space in May 2012, with Westfield assuming responsibility for management & leasing.
The $US800 million purchase price is subject to a one-time additional contingent payment to the port authority within 5 years of the opening date if Westfield exceeds certain mutually agreed-upon return thresholds.
The acquisition takes Westfield’s total investment in the site to more than $US1.4 billion. The transaction is expected to close within the next 45 days.
The retail premises comprise 33,900m² of retail space on multiple levels of the Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus, with street-level presence along Church St, Cortland Way & Dey St, and 3 storeys above grade in towers 3 & 4. An additional 8360m² of retail space will be added when tower 2 is developed. The initial phase of the retail complex is expected to open in 2015.
Attribution: Company release.