REAL ESTATE

Westfield renews its 100% stake in WTC retail

BY Michael Fickes

The Westfield Group has agreed to purchase the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s remaining 50% interest in the World Trade Center’s retail square footage. The purchase price is US$800 million. Following the transaction, expected to close early next year, Westfield will own 100% of the retail space, which totals 365,000 sq. ft.

“We look forward to 2015 and celebrating the distinctive character and vibrancy of this great city, while introducing Westfield World Trade Center — an iconic, spectacular and world class shopping, dining, cultural entertainment destination — to New Yorkers and global visitors alike,” said Peter Lowy, Westfield Group co-CEO.

The acquisition enables Westfield to begin carrying out a plan it made years ago. The company originally acquired a 99-year lease interest in the World Trade Center retail space in July of 2001, just six weeks before it was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Port Authority bought the lease back Westfield in 2003.

But Westfield wanted to be part of the new World Trade Center. In 2011, the company paid US$612.5 million for a half interest in a joint venture with the Port Authority to own and operate the retail space. Under that agreement, Westfield would handle the management and leasing of World Trade Center retail.

Acquiring the remaining 50% interest from the Port Authority brings Westfield’s total investment in the World Trade Center to $1.4 billion, the largest private sector investment in the site. The agreement includes a provision that will subject Westfield to an additional one-time contingent payment to the Port Authority within five years of the opening date if Westfield exceeds certain agreed upon return thresholds.

The site’s retail space spans multiple levels in the Santiago Calatrava designed Oculus. It includes substantial square footage at street level along Church Street, Cortland Way and Dey Street plus three stores above grade in Towers 3 and 4.

The initial phase of the retail build-out is slated to open in 2015.

When Tower 2 is developed in the future, it will include an additional 90,000 sq. ft. of retail space.

Westfield and the World Trade Center have returned.


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Tesla Motors, Westfield Century City, Los Angeles

BY Staff Writer
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The Model S is the world’s first premium sedan built from the ground up as an electric vehicle and has been engineered to elevate the public’s expectations of what a premium sedan can be. Model S has received many of the industry’s most prestigious awards and accolades during its first year on the market.

Tesla, a leading designer and manufacturer of electric vehicles, is showing off its signature product in its new showroom in Westfield Century City shopping center. The facade makes a strong visual statement, with the company’s signature red, grey, and white colors complemented by a chrome exterior, glass doors, and a large, striking Tesla logo spread across the top.

The design team used every square foot of the 900-sq.-ft. space to its advantage, opening up the entire storefront to drive a display car inside. To optimize floor space, fabric wall panels were used instead of floor fixtures for merchandise.

For a hands-on experience, the space includes a design studio where prospective buyers can view colors, customize and build their own car, and purchase retail items with the Tesla name.

Design: MBH Architects, Alameda, Calif.


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Avery Dennison does deal with RFID patent troll

BY CSA STAFF

In a move designed to accelerate adoption of RFID at the item level, Avery Dennison has signed a licensing agreement with Round Rock Research.

Round Rock describes itself as a technology research and patent licensing firm while others have used the less glamorous phrase patent troll to characterize a company that doesn’t manufacture, sell or market products or services. Either way, the $1.5 billion Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solution subsidiary of Avery Dennison said it entered into a licensing agreement with Round Rock for radio frequency tags and readers that will facilitate further adoption of item-level RFID by U.S.-based apparel retailers and brands.

“RFID adoption in the apparel industry is accelerating around the world due to the strong investment case and fundamental advantage it affords retailers to better manage inventory and serve customers,” said Shawn Neville, president of Avery Dennison RBIS. “This license agreement, along with our significant investments in RFID innovation, manufacturing capabilities and market development, positions us to lead the accelerating adoption of RFID in the U.S. and around the world.”

The move by Avery Dennison RBIS follows resolution of a lawsuit last month between Round Rock and Motorola Solutions and Smartrac. Round Rock had sued the firms and several of Motorola’s major customers for use products Round Rock said infringed on its patents.

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