Date:  Feb 09, 2012

Press Release Number:  21


The $612.5 Million Commitment Represents Largest Private Sector Investment of New Equity in WTC to Date

Today the Port Authority Board of Commissioners approved a joint venture with the Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) – a major, worldwide retail property owner – to develop, lease, and operate more than 450,000 square feet of shopping and dining space at the World Trade Center (WTC) site.

The agreement, which represents the largest private sector investment of new equity to date at the site, marks the return of Westfield to the World Trade Center. Westfield will invest $612.5 million for a 50 percent share of the joint venture, with additional potential earn-outs for the Port Authority.

The retail space currently includes approximately 365,000 square feet of leasable space spread across multiple levels including the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, with concourses that will connect throughout all portions of the site. It will have a major street level presence along Church Street, Cortland Way and Dey Street and above grade in Tower 3 and Tower 4. An additional 90,000 square feet of retail space will be added when Tower 2 is developed in the future. The grand opening of the retail complex is expected in 2015.

Westfield has one of the world’s largest shopping center portfolios with investments in 122 shopping centers worldwide valued in excess of $60 billion.

“Our agreement with Westfield leverages public and private sector money that allows us to pursue our core mission: to stimulate job creation and economic activity for the New Jersey and New York region,” said Port Authority Chairman David Samson. “At the same time, this partnership will maximize the Port Authority’s cash flow and long-term capital capacity, so we can reinvest in our airports, seaports, tunnels and bridges.”

“By partnering with a world class operator like Westfield, the Port Authority is ensuring that the WTC retail development will meet the highest commercial standards possible while enabling the Port Authority to reduce the amount of its invested capital,” said Vice Chairman Scott Rechler. “This private sector joint venture is consistent with the recommendations made in the recently completed Navigant review and a good example of how the Port Authority will operate as we move forward.”

“This partnership demonstrates our commitment to making sure the World Trade Center is a world-class development,” said Executive Director Pat Foye. “The venture will generate much needed capital to invest in core transportation projects at the site, which when complete will be an unparalleled facility and destination for the region. Bringing in Westfield will help us ensure that world-class retail is a key part of the site’s overall experience.”

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni said, “The retail resulting from this partnership will provide an exceptional service not only for the millions of tourists who visit New York, but also the thousands of New York and New Jersey residents who work, visit, or live in Lower Manhattan.”

“Westfield is committed to delivering an iconic, world-class shopping venue that is a testament to the importance of the World Trade Center site,” said Peter Lowy, Westfield Group Co-CEO. “We value the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Board’s support and look forward to working with the Port to finalize the agreement.”

The World Trade Center retail is just one of several projects on the site that are currently in construction. One World Trade Center is now at the 90th floor and the Port Authority expects it to top out at the 104th floor by late spring. The World Trade Center Transportation Hub mezzanine level is nearly complete, and construction workers are bringing the main Transit Hall to grade on the eastern half of the site.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Steve Coleman, 212 435-7777

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which does not receive tax dollars from either state, operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; the Port Authority-Port Jersey Marine Terminal and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.