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Westfield Gains Rights to Lower Manhattan Subway Stores

Westfield Group, which controls the right to lease retail space at lower Manhattan’s World Trade Center, was selected to also rent out stores at the new eight-line subway hub a block to the east.

The Sydney-based company, the No. 2 shopping-center owner globally by stock-market value, is poised to sign the master lease on about 180,000 square feet (16,700 square meters), including 40,000 square feet of store space, at the Fulton Street Transit Center, a subway-line transfer point. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board’s finance committee picked Westfield as the winner of a competition for the lease, the agency said in a statement today.

“This agreement will empower Westfield to generate revenues for us that will go right back into the system,” MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco said in the statement. About 300,000 people a day are expected to use the transit hub, he said.

The deal will help make Westfield a dominant retail landlord in lower Manhattan. The company controls about 365,000 square feet of retail at the 16-acre (6.5-hectare) World Trade Center site, including stores that will serve the Santiago Calatrava-designed Port Authority Trans-Hudson terminal that is scheduled for completion in 2015. On Dec. 5, Westfield said it would buy out the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s interest in the PATH hub retail.

The two transit hubs are linked by a pedestrian tunnel under Dey Street.

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