Port Authority sells stake in WTC retail mall

By Steve Strunsky The Star-Ledger

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today approved the sale of the agency’s 50-percent stake in a retail complex at the World Trade Center PATH and subway station to its private-sector partner in the venture.

The Port Authority said the $800 million sale of 365,000 square feet of retail space to the Westfield Group was in line with the agency’s effort to return to its core mission of enhancing transportation between the two states. The Westfield Group owns the former World Financial Center, now known as Brookfield Place, which is linked to the trade center via the West Concourse below West Street.

Port Authority commissioners unanimously authorized the sale at its afternoon monthly meeting.

At the same meeting, commissioners approved entering into a new real-estate agreement, this one a deal with the Durst Organization to market and lease 842,000 square feet of office space at 4 Times Square. The space is occupied by Conde Nast, which will be one of the Port Authority’s tenants at 1 World Trade Center.

Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said the deal with Durst will help the Port Authority meet an obligation to the future tenant, media company Conde Nast, related to the company’s move from Midtown to Lower Manhattan when 1 WTC is ready for occupancy next year. The obligation to Conde Nast, Foye said, essentially binds the agency to pick up publisher’s lease payments at 4 Times Square or find a new tenant to replace the firm.

Conde Nast is a division of Advance Publications, the corporate parent of The Star-Ledger and nj.com.

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