Oculus mall at World Trade Center
The reopening — and reinvention — of the World Trade Center mall reflects how much lower Manhattan has changed since the 9/11 attacks.
Once a scene of massive destruction, the area is now a vibrant one of office towers and upscale hotels, with three times the number of residents as before the attacks, weekday employees in industries beyond Wall Street, and millions of tourists visiting every year.
Shops from Apple to Forever 21 to H&M to John Varvatos will serve the increasingly diverse area where real estate experts say people have been eager for new stores and restaurants. The new spaces also let customers tap into technology, as some retailers use the space for their latest ideas.
The location is a “symbol of hope, opportunity, progress and perseverance,” said Bill Hecht, chief operating officer of Westfield Corp.’s U.S. division. Westfield manages the retail properties, while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey owns the real estate.
More than 100 stores will occupy the 365,000-square-foot center, with about 60 opening this week and the rest by the winter holiday season. Ford Motor Co. is set to open this fall the first FordHub, a showroom for innovations that’s not a dealership. Shoe purveyor Aldo Group Inc. is using the opening to launch an app feature for its store, which will be rolled out to other locations.
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