By: Lois Weiss | New York Post
Eataly is taking a bite out of the World Trade Center, The Post has learned.
The Westfield Group, which controls all the retail space at the WTC, has lined up the famed Italian marketplace for the base of 4 World Trade Center, along with a host of big names.
Apple, Canali, Hugo Boss, John Varvatos, Mont Blanc and Breitling have all signed deals for the WTC’s main hall, known as the Oculus, according to sources.
The John Barrett Salon, Tiffany’s, Tom Ford and Armani have either signed or are close to signing leases for other space in the complex.
Westfield, which completed its $1.4 billion purchase of the retail spaces, is now likely to move its “3/15/15” opening to later that summer, sources said.
Over the last few years, an all-out leasing war has been waged between Westfield and Brookfield Place, owned by Brookfield Properties, which is getting a $250 million face-lift and sits across West Street.
Brookfield has charged somewhat lower retail rents, while Westfield started out on the wrong foot by boasting that rents would be closer to $500 a square foot. They are now around $350 per square foot.
Westfield also believed it could cut out brokers and go directly to the tenants it already has inside its other malls. That backfired immediately with snubbed brokers racing into Brookfield’s walls with their loyal tenants.
The WTC’s 365-foot-long by 115-foot-wide long main hall, known as the Oculus — an elliptical fish-tank-like area with a movable glass “eyelid” on the ceiling — is becoming the hot spot for most of the bigger brands.
However, not one store has been signed for its second floor. Without a crossover and no co-locating anchor store, retailers worry they will be too isolated.
Its ground floor, however, which will be the prime entrance for PATH commuters and a giant event space, is gaining traction with a bunch of retailers.
The East-West Concourse, a two-level underground retail corridor that will connect Brookfield Place with all the World Trade Center buildings, has already opened in part but with barren storefronts.
Leases there have been signed with Godiva for its first café in the US, Starbucks, Duane Reade, It’s Sugar, Havaianas flip flops, Clark’s shoes, Invicta watches, the Art of Shaving, Tumi luggage, MAC cosmetics and a blow-dry bar.
A giant, nearly 17,000- square-foot Victoria’s Secret will be also located in these concourse areas just north of the Oculus.
In its biggest coup, Westfield snagged the original Eataly to compete with Brookfield’s dining terraces, including Le District, dubbed the “French Eataly” by The Post’s Steve Cuozzo.
Eataly, was launched in L&L Holding’s 200 Fifth Ave. and became an anchor for the entire Madison Square Park area.
The John Barrett Salon — now anchored at Bergdorf Goodman — will open above it at 4 WTC on one of the retail floors that is connected with escalators. Another staircase is being added.
Tom Ford will be in the base of 4 WTC but facing the unfinished 3 WTC. Armani may be heading into the base of 3 WTC facing Church street with Tiffany’s on the building’s corner.