Westfield Group said roughly 80 percent of the 150 retail brands set to fill an underground mall at the World Trade Center have either signed leases or are close to finalizing deals.
Big-name brands such as shoe-centric Stuart Weitzman and British men’s clothier Turnbull & Asser have inked leases at the two-level shopping gallery, known as the Oculus. Meanwhile, several retailers are in advanced negotiations with Westfield. Those include Apple, Bobbi Brown, Kate Spade New York and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. French fashion brands The Kooples and Zadig & Voltaire, and Swedish designer Acne Studios were set to take space there, as The Real Deal reported in April.
The 365,000-square-foot, $1.4 billion project is slated to open next year. Westfield acquired a 99-year lease for the retail component at the World Trade Center more than a month before the 9/11 attacks.
“I think retailers in general have a skeptical approach to retailing underground,” James Fayed, a board member at Turnbull & Asser, told the Wall Street Journal. “But the walkway traffic is going to be phenomenal. And the Oculus draws light all the way through so it feels like you’re not underground.” [WSJ] — Mark Maurer