(AFP) – Jan 6, 2008
SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian major shopping centre owner Westfield will invest 625 million US dollars in a retail project at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, it said Monday.
The Westfield Group said it will set up a joint venture with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop and operate a 1.45 billion US dollar retail project at the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Westfield, Australia's largest shopping centre owner, originally acquired an interest in the retail facilities at the World Trade Center in July 2001 for about 130 million US dollars.
But two years after the twin towers were levelled by the attacks, Westfield sold its interest to the Port Authority.
The company reportedly kept an option, dependent on the redevelopment plan, to take up its old lease.
Under the plan released Monday, Westfield will spend up to 625 million US dollars in the development of the site and will be responsible for managing and leasing the 488,000 square feet of retail space.
The Port Authority will invest 825 million US dollars in the retail project.
"We are excited to be back," Westfield managing director Peter Lowy said.
"We always wanted to be part of the revitalisation of this historic site once the plans were finalised."
"With the Port Authority, we look forward to creating a world-class, iconic shopping destination for Lower Manhattan," he said.
Westfield Group has interests in 120 shopping centres in four countries, including Australia, the US and Britain.
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