View Full Version : Trade Center To Keep Retail Space Underground

February 14th, 2003, 03:14 AM

Trade Center Would Keep Retail Space Underground

Plans for an underground concourse at the World Trade Center would allow for the building of several hundred thousand square feet of retail space below ground, or nearly as much as existed at the site before the 2001 attack, officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said yesterday.

Testifying at a City Council hearing, the officials said that no decisions had been made yet about how the retail space at the trade center would be divided between above and below ground.

But in raising the possibility that a large amount of the site's retail stores might be located underground, along the passageways connecting the PATH commuter line, various subway lines and the World Financial Center, the Port Authority brought to light a looming conflict with city officials and many downtown residents.

The authority officials also said that their preliminary designs for the transportation hub at the trade center site, including the underground concourses, would work with either of the two designs being considered as finalists — if the architects made several proposed modifications to allow for underground parking, transit stations and other structures at the site.

The Port Authority also discussed its plans last night with an advisory council of family members of victims. Several family members objected to the proposal to put a bus parking lot beneath the planned memorial, saying it would be a security risk. Since the trade center was destroyed, downtown residents and civic groups have said retail space at and around the site should be built at ground level. Doing so, they have said, would reinvigorate street life downtown, something that an indoor mall would not do.

Westfield America, a shopping-mall company that, as a partner of Silverstein Properties, holds the rights to lease retail space at the trade center, favors enclosed retail space, much like that in the former concourse at the site.

Anthony G. Cracchiolo, the Port Authority's director of priority capital programs, told a joint meeting of the City Council's Transportation and Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Committees, "We're looking at options both above and below grade.

"We believe the retail development could occur both as part of the transportation facilities, as it occurs in Grand Central Station, for example, and above grade, integrating with the street life," Mr. Cracchiolo said.

But he also noted that thanks to moving walkways, the system of concourses that would stretch nearly half a mile from the World Financial Center to the Fulton Transit Center would enable commuters to shave 10 minutes off the walk from the No. 4 and No. 5 subways to the American Express building.

Robert Davidson, the Port Authority's chief architect, said the plans for underground retail space were not intended to conflict with street life, but rather to enhance it.

"All we're doing is offering up a viable alternative on those days where if you can help it you don't want to be out there" on the street, usually because of bad weather," Mr. Davidson said. "That is not to say this is the only way to do it. This is about choices, and it all depends on how we integrate what is happening at the street level with how you move from that street zone down into the transportation."

The two teams of architects whose plans are finalists for the design of the trade center site planned for hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail space underground. The Think plan would place three-quarters of its 1.1 million square feet of shops there, and the Studio Daniel Libeskind proposal would create 900,000 square feet of retail space, almost two-thirds of it underground.

That disappointed city officials. Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, said yesterday that while the city did not have a specific preference for the amount of retail space in one location or the other, "Our top priority is to restore the vitality to the streets that surround the World Trade center site."

Restoring that vitality will depend on the efforts by the city and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to remake the character of Fulton Street and Broadway, he said. "In general, our preference is to have as little retail underground as makes sense," Mr. Doctoroff said.

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February 14th, 2003, 11:57 AM
Bad move, in my opinion. *Putting that many shops in such a concentrated space will suck out the pedestrian life for several surrounding blocks. *Retail space belongs on the ground, not under it.

February 15th, 2003, 05:42 PM
It works in Boston and Montreal, having lots of retail in-doors/ under ground.

Some of the ways Montreal has developed their underground retail malls should be incorporated into the Lower Manhattan proposal.

Like having two entrances to the main stores, an above ground entrance from the street and a below ground entrance from the transit concourse. Make most of the Major retail stores (Gap, Express, Banana Republic etc) multi levels (as most in Manhattan are).

One floor down to the Transit concourse 1-2 floors up to street level.

It works well in Montreal.

February 15th, 2003, 05:45 PM
I never understood the NY obsession with only having street-front retail.

The combination of off and on street works in cities world wide.

February 15th, 2003, 06:06 PM
You can have it both ways. *Two words: *Rockefeller Center

February 15th, 2003, 06:18 PM
I agree Thomas. The problem with the old site wasn't that there was so much retail below ground, but that there was no connection to the plaza level - except through the building

Borders, on the NE corner was multilevel, and seemed to work well.

February 15th, 2003, 07:21 PM
The site has the equivalent of a 2 or 3 story slope. *This can be used to integrate above and below ground retail.

September 13th, 2007, 07:45 PM
Does anyone know where I can find that cutaway map which came out in past year of the underground retail, parking and other facilities (level by level) of the WTC site?

Much appreciated.

September 13th, 2007, 08:13 PM
right here


September 13th, 2007, 08:27 PM
The site has the equivalent of a 2 or 3 story slope. This can be used to integrate above and below ground retail.

2 stories, it's a 24-25 foot slope between Church and West St, with the Vessey and West Corner being about 4 feet lower than Liberty and West St. Due to that slope, the WTC Concourse was actually at ground level for most of the site, only when it approached Church St. did it dip completely below grade.

As was stated above, the issue was not the placement of the shops. Indeed, the layout of the WTC Concourse was a spectacular success, perhaps one of the greatest of the complex, from a financial perspective at least. The issue was lack of connection to the street. A few more entrances on Vessey, in Buildings 4 & 5, and connections to the plaza would have done a good job at integrating it with the neighborhood.

And I'd like to add that the original WTC had 600,000sqft of retail space, almost completely underground. Both of the schemes being considered will have 50% more to twice as much retail space as the original, with 300,000sqft of retail at grade or above. Think about that, no matter what, and disregarding the below-grade mall, an amount of space equal to 50% of the original complex will be at grade. 1.1Msqft would be like converting the Chrysler building to retail, that's a huge amount of space.

September 13th, 2007, 10:23 PM
[quote=Thomas;6844]It works in Boston and Montreal, having lots of retail in-doors/ under ground.

Some of the ways Montreal has developed their underground retail malls should be incorporated into the Lower Manhattan proposal.

Like having two entrances to the main stores, an above ground entrance from the street and a below ground entrance from the transit concourse. Make most of the Major retail stores (Gap, Express, Banana Republic etc) multi levels (as most in Manhattan are).

One floor down to the Transit concourse 1-2 floors up to street level.

It works well in Montreal.[/quo

I saw that on my last trip to Montreal....I think thats a great idea.

September 14th, 2007, 01:09 PM
Toronto has a similar underground network. The problem I have with this retail is that it turns its back to the area. Retail closes at 6PM and is closed on the weekends. Not a problem for those working in the buildings above but a problem for people like me who live nearby and am effectively cut off from using it.

September 14th, 2007, 04:10 PM
I don't think the retail is really geared toward locals. The premise is more sub-urban mall and the target audience is the bridge and tunnel folk working in the WTC or commuting. lower Manhattan will get ample retail as it continues its transformation to 24 / 7 neighborhood. See B&N / Whole Foods at 101 Warren.

September 18th, 2007, 03:45 PM
^ Suburban malls are open evenings and weekends.

September 18th, 2007, 05:58 PM
As was the old WTC mall, which, incidentally, was widely used by us locals, and not just commuters, notwithstanding its poor integration to the street. It's rather hard to tell from the blueprints above whether the new WTC's retail setup will have equal, greater or lesser functionality. We will just have to see.

September 18th, 2007, 06:11 PM
During those cold months of January & February the old WTC "mall" was a handy -- & comfy -- place to do some browsing / shopping.

December 18th, 2007, 12:54 AM
December 18, 2007

A New Deal to Develop Ground Zero


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is expected to approve a deal Tuesday that would bring an international shopping center operator back to ground zero to help build retail space in the buildings and tunnels under construction on the 16-acre site.

Under the terms of the deal, the operator, the Westfield Group, would buy a 50 percent stake in about 490,000 square feet of retail development and invest more than $600 million in creating the shopping areas, said government officials and real estate executives familiar with the agreement.

Stores would be located at street level and above in three planned office towers along Church Street, as well as in the two-story concourses linking the site with subway lines and the PATH commuter rail station.

The original shopping space at the World Trade Center was a highly successful underground mall, in no small way because of the 150,000 commuters and tourists streaming past the storefronts and restaurants every day on their way to the towers.

But critics and many downtown residents complained that the old configuration robbed the neighborhood of street life, leaving it a ghost town after sundown and on the weekends. After the complex was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, planners, neighborhood groups and eventually the Port Authority insisted that the new stores would be built at street level and extend up as high as the fourth floor, as well as underground.

The developer who is building the three towers on Church Street, Larry A. Silverstein, has already incorporated those ideas into his designs for the buildings.

The retail spaces in the concourses will run west from Church Street to the World Financial Center. The entire retail complex, which will be 60,000 square feet larger than what was in the old trade center, is expected to cost more than $1 billion.

The Port Authority declined to discuss the deal, which is on the agenda of its board meeting on Tuesday. Westfield did not returns calls seeking comment.

“We have a strong interest in the retail that’s going in there,” said Julie Menin, chairwoman of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan. “We want stores that will serve a 24/7 community, not just tourists and office workers, and an active street presence.”

The deal would allow the authority to reduce its risk at the complex and still split the net operating revenues with Westfield, the officials and real estate executives said.

If it is approved as expected, the deal would mark Westfield’s return to the World Trade Center site at a time when both the new PATH station and the Freedom Tower, the tallest tower on the site, are under construction. Under a timetable for the rebuilding of the trade center site, the Port Authority is supposed to turn over the eastern side of the property to Mr. Silverstein by the end of the year so that he can start building his three office towers.

Westfield, which is one of the world’s largest mall operators, with 119 shopping centers in four countries, was Mr. Silverstein’s partner in July 2001, when they leased the trade center from the Port Authority. But the complex was destroyed weeks later. The rebuilding plans became embroiled in complex and often acrimonious negotiations between the Port Authority, Mr. Silverstein, civic groups, community leaders, transportation experts and city and state officials.

To reduce the squabbling, the Port Authority negotiated a settlement with Westfield in 2003 to buy back its retail rights at the site. At the time, Westfield favored rebuilding the underground mall. The company feared that the street-level retail favored by others would not generate average sales of $900 a square foot, as the trade center did in 2000. The authority paid Westfield $140 million, which represented the company’s original investment and about $15 million in interest. In an unusual element, the authority also gave Westfield a right to buy back into the complex. Other developers, including Related Companies, had sought to take over the retail.

But rather than offer those development rights to the highest bidder, the authority decided to negotiate a new deal with Westfield, which apparently has changed its views of the complex. The authority has about $200 million in insurance money to rebuild the retail space.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

September 13th, 2013, 10:48 PM
Mac Rumors
September 13, 2013

Apple Finalizing Plans for Retail Store at World Trade Center Shopping Mall

By Jordan Golson

Video (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/09/13/apple-finalizing-plans-for-retail-store-at-world-trade-center-shopping-mall/)


Apple is finalizing lease plans for the luxury shopping mall planned for the World Trade Center site, according to a report (http://www.ifoapplestore.com/2013/09/13/apple-finalizing-lease-for-store-at-911-site/) from IFOAppleStore.

IFO claims the mall developer has already signed a lease with Victoria's Secret and negotiations are in process with Michael Kors, Swatch and Abercrombie & Fitch, among other retailers, including Apple.

The website for the project contains a number of renderings of the proposed buildings, including the one above of the shopping area.

A one square-block memorial park has already opened at the site, and work is well underway on one of four high-rise office towers that will surround the park. The shopping mall will occupy space under three of the towers, and on the lower floors of two towers. Perhaps not coincidentally, the three towers were designed by architects Foster + Partners, who are working on Apple’s new California headquarters and the future San Francisco 2 retail store. Construction on the three office towers and a major transit station is in the early stages. The mall is scheduled to open in 2015, when the Apple store would open.

Apple already has a number of Apple Retail Stores in New York City including Fifth Avenue, Grand Central, SoHo, Upper West Side, and West 14th Street. The company has long been rumored to be looking at locations for a new store in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Copyright © 2000-2013 MacRumors.com, LLC.

September 16th, 2013, 02:07 PM
There are so many mistakes in that article....

The memorial park is more like 3 square blocks, and about 3/4 of it is open.

2 of the 4 towers are almost finished and work is well under way on the third.

Only one of the towers was designed by Foster.