The opening marks another huge step forward for the rebuilding process that has occurred since the devastating attacks of 9/11.The grand opening of Westfield World Trade Center was celebrated with a lavish grand opening ceremony, and the landmark shopping mall was quickly hailed as a rousing success by those in attendance. As the Chicago Tribune reports, the retail destination will span 365,000 square feet and include more than 100 shops when work is completed.
The opening marks another huge step forward for the rebuilding process that has occurred since the devastating attacks of 9/11. As Westfield COO Bill Hecht explains, “the location is a "symbol of hope, opportunity, progress, and perseverance."
Westfield World Trade Center spans a four-block underground network that spans across the bases of three office towers. It leads directly into Oculus, the commuter hub of the World Trade Center that was designed by Santiago Calatrava. Over 300,000 commuters use the hub on a daily basis, which provides the retail complex with built-in foot traffic on a daily basis.
Attracting people outside of commuters will not be an issue for the property, which is quickly expected to become one of the world’s most heavily trafficked retail destinations. About 60 of the stores opened with the grand opening, and the remainder is on tap to open by the winter holidays. A veritable who’s who of retailers spanning multiple price points have signed on to be a part of the retail roster, including Apple, Victoria’s Secret and Breitling.
Among the other calling cards of the new mall is the wildly successful Eataly, which has opened its second Manhattan location on the site. Eataly is a massive Italian marketplace concept that features a variety of dining and shopping options, as well as coffee and gelato bars. Another hugely popular attraction will come from Ford Motor Co., which has plans to open what is known as FordHub this fall, which will essentially be a showroom for innovations from the car maker.
Numerous retail executives were on hand for the grand opening ceremony, and the general consensus was that Westfield has a hit on its hands.
"When you look at how many people now live in the neighborhood, how many commuters work in the neighborhood and how many tourists now are coming to the memorial, emotionally it was a no-brainer and financially it was a no-brainer," said Angela Ahrendts, retailing chief at Apple.
For its part, Westfield is expecting big things from the retail site as a whole. The company estimates that 15 million travelers will visit the areas from the U.S. and around the world next year to see the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and other nearby places of interest, and you can be certain that a great deal of them will flock to this retail gem that lays underneath.