After a 12-year wait, Westfield World Trade Center opened with residents and commuters of all ages rushing to check out the scores of new stores and restaurants, along with the soaring bird-like Oculus—the light-filled transportation hub and shopping arcade designed by architect Santiago Calatrava.
Retailers—by year’s end there will be some 125—have embraced the $4 billion, 350,000-square-foot downtown mall, among them Sephora, which opened one of its first stores in the World Trade Center in 1999. Lower Manhattan, says Celia Wing, Sephora’s senior vice president of real estate, “is set to be one of the most dynamic areas in the city.”
In months to come, the Oculus will host free concerts and art exhibits, but in the meantime, retailers are launching their own installations. Lacoste has mounted an exhibition, complete with tennis court wall, highlighting six decades of the brand’s history (including the invention of the tennis ball machine and first steel racket). And menswear designer John Varvatos collaborated with artist/photographer Karsten Staiger on a series of photographs of the city’s skyline, reimagined and displayed on super-sized digital screens throughout the complex. Not to be outdone, Montblanc designed a limited edition of five Urban Spirit backpacks ($1,674), with a storm cover depicting the NYC subway map, available only at its Westfield World Trade Center store.
Gourmets will delight in Eataly Downtown, the Italian culinary wonderland’s newest branch. In addition to an overflowing market, there is a separate dining area that includes Orto e Mare, which offers a sweet-and-savory breakfast, and the elegant Osteria della Pace, chef Riccardo Orfino’s refined ode to southern Italian cuisine. Want to educate yourself? Check out their free classes at “Foodiversità.” 185 Greenwich St., NYC