Westfield World Trade: The changing face of downtown NYC

Ryan Bennett

Ryan Bennett

Securities Analyst, Real Estate

We were fortunate enough to head along to the launch (and, also fortunately, we weren’t among the estimated 15,000 people waiting for a ‘taste of Eataly’).

Westfield is claiming it as the “New New York place to be” and the hope is that the mall will help defend against the ongoing consumer move to online.  New York sits in top spot in the Schroders Global Cities Index and developments like these only serve to secure its position.

The space occupies over 365,000 square feet and is a $1.4 billion investment for the Australian-listed shopping mall operator. It’s hoped that the new complex will attract more shoppers as the World Trade Center nears completion.

First impressions

Our initial impressions were largely positive. As with many of its flagship developments, Westfield is offering its upscale shopping experience to downtown, an area that has been in a continual state of flux since 9/11.

To its credit, Westfield has provided expert project management through all stages of the rebuild.  The retail space is now fully leased and new tenants such as Apple, Pandora, Under Armor and Kate Spade are starting to move in.

The transformation of downtown

Westfield’s new development is the next step in the transformation of downtown over the almost 15 years since the devastating 9/11 attacks. Goldman Sachs and Condé Nast are among the new tenants for these office and residential areas.

Westfield reports that the submarket currently has about 60,000 neighbourhood residents and 300,000 daily commuters. With this as a base, the Center should drive most of its traffic from tourism; it’s close to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and 1 WTC Observatory as well as ferry stops for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  

It’s expected that 15 million tourists will visit the Center next year and, while office and retail demand is strong, the Center’s retail success will be highly dependent on tourism. The question remains whether these targets can be met. 

Over the long term, Westfield has created a complex that should benefit from a lack of distinct alternatives downtown and potentially rival some of the more renowned shopping centres in Manhattan for years to come.

We’ll be watching the development closely, not least because I live only three blocks away. More updates to come!

 The New New York place to be

Ryan Westfield visit

Ryan Westfield visit


Sign up to Global Cities now to get the latest news and views, including future updates to the Index


Important Information: The views and opinions contained herein are those of Schroders' Global Cities Team, and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds. This material is intended to be for information purposes only and is not intended as promotional material in any respect. The material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The material is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for accounting, legal or tax advice, or investment recommendations. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in this document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested. All investments involve risks including the risk of possible loss of principal. Information herein is believed to be reliable but Schroders does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Reliance should not be placed on the views and information in this document when taking individual investment and/or strategic decisions. Some information quoted was obtained from external sources we consider to be reliable. No responsibility can be accepted for errors of fact obtained from third parties, and this data may change with market conditions. This does not exclude any duty or liability that Schroders has to its customers under any regulatory system. The data provider and issuer of the document shall have no liability in connection with the third party data. The Prospectus and/or contains additional disclaimers which apply to third party data. Regions/sectors shown for illustrative purposes only and should not be viewed as a recommendation to buy/sell. The opinions in this document include some forecasted views. We believe we are basing our expectations and beliefs on reasonable assumptions within the bounds of what we currently know. However, there is no guarantee than any forecasts or opinions will be realised. These views and opinions may change. To the extent that you are in North America, this content is issued by Schroder Investment Management North America Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Schroders plc and SEC registered adviser providing asset management products and services to clients in the US and Canada. For all other users, this content is issued by Schroder Investment Management Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London, EC2Y 5AU. Registered No. 1893220 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.