The Mall at the World Trade Center

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Coordinates: 40°42′40.58″N 74°0′42.84″W / 40.7112722°N 74.0119000°W / 40.7112722; -74.0119000

Westfield World Trade Center
Location New York City, New York, United States
Address World Trade Center, Manhattan, NY 10007, United States
Opening date 1970 (first mall)
2016 (second mall)
Developer Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
Westfield Group
Management Westfield Group
Map of the mall prior to its destruction.
The mall damaged by the collapse of the towers.

The Mall at the World Trade Center was a shopping center located in the concourse area of the World Trade Center before it was destroyed on September 11, 2001. A new mall, called Westfield World Trade Center, is currently under construction in the new World Trade Center complex and will be operated and managed by the Westfield Group.

Original mall[edit]

Before 9/11[edit]

Prior to 9/11, the mall had been leased to the Westfield Group by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the owner of the complex. Westfield intended to rename the mall Westfield Shoppingtown World Trade Center, and embark on a major expansion and renovation program. Plans called for the addition of 200,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of new mall space and a few well-known sit-down restaurants.

During and after 9/11[edit]

A commonly reported story of eyewitnesses inside the mall at the moment in which the first plane (American Airlines Flight 11) struck the North Tower is of fireballs fed by flaming jet fuel shooting down the elevator shafts and bursting out at the lobby, many reaching as far as the mall itself. As stated in the 9/11 Commission Report:

"The Port Authority's on-site commanding police officer was standing in the concourse when a fireball exploded out of the North Tower lobby, causing him to dive for cover."[1]

Survivor Allison Summers describes the conditions in the mall at that same moment as follows:

"I had almost reached the [Cortlandt Street] Uptown 1 and 9 station when there was an enormous explosion. The building shook. I heard people say, 'Oh, no.' Some, not many, were screaming. ... I looked ahead past Banana Republic, past Citibank to the plaza outside. At that moment, there was a terrifying tidal wave of smoke filling the doorway. It began to shoot forward. The smoke had this enormous momentum that started to come towards us, as if it had a will of its own. We ran. We ran together past the Coach store. We ran to get out of the path of this enormous wave of smoke. It was like we were being chased. All the people on the concourse ran. We turned right, heading toward the PATH trains. As we ran, shop assistants were calling in doorways, 'What happened? What happened?' But we were running so fast we couldn't answer them and they ran with us. Some people were crying; some people were screaming. We moved as one body. No one pushed and no one shoved. We all had the same intention: to get out of the building."[2]

Shortly after the first impact, water began spraying into the mall from the broken or activated sprinklers. As Erik Ronningen describes,

"I drag my body down through the decimated main lobby [of the North Tower], through a waterfall from the Mall ceiling, and wade the darkened Mall corridor through 75 yards [69 m] of ankle-deep water to Tower Two."[3]

Westfield World Trade Center[edit]

The second Mall at the World Trade Center, currently under construction, calls for roughly 365,000 square feet (33,900 m2) of retail space, which will once again make it the largest shopping mall in Manhattan. Although the new mall will only be spread over roughly one half of the original mall's footprint (due to the new space required for the below-grade WTC museum), the mall will be double-level, whereas the original mall was a single-level mall. Three additional levels will also exist above-grade on the lower floors of Towers 2 and 3, and Tower 4 will house four above-grade levels.[4] According to developer Larry Silverstein (whose firm was replaced by Westfield as the developer):

"The design we have developed with the Port Authority calls for not only rebuilding the retail space that was lost on 9/11, but going above and beyond what was there before. We want to create a real destination for visitors and shoppers, a center that will share many of the attributes of the city’s great retail hubs."[4]

Construction on the 1 World Trade Center portion of the mall began in mid-2007. By February 2012, Westfield entered into an agreement with the Port Authority, which owns the rest of the World Trade Center site, to jointly own and manage the mall, which will be named Westfield World Trade Center. At the same time, Westfield began marketing space in the mall and opened a leasing office in the new 7 World Trade Center.[5] In December 2013, the Port Authority sold its remaining stake in the retail development to Westfield.[6] This also brings retail at the World Trade Center to Westfield's complete control. The mall, which will open in spring 2016, was 80% leased as of June 2014.[7]


  1. ^ Emergency Preparedness and Response
  2. ^ "New York Metro - World Trade Center Attack". 2002-09-11. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  3. ^ "Be well. Practice big medicine". Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  4. ^ a b "Retail || About the WTC || World Trade Center ||". Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  5. ^ Coleman, Steve. "WORLD-CLASS RETAIL COMING TO WORLD TRADE CENTER UNDER JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN PORT AUTHORITY & WESTFIELD GROUP". Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Keiko Morris (8 June 2014). "Westfield's Underground Mall at World Trade Center Draws Marquee Retailers". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 

External links[edit]