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Plans to build the Westfield World Trade Center Mall were announced almost twelve years ago. But since then, the Westfield Corporation hasn't given a definitive date on when to expect its 125 stores — which we know includes everyone from Kate Spade and & Other Stories to Sephora and Apple — to officially open. And just when we thought there was progress, the worst has happened: builders have discovered a leak, solidifying the venue's opening in the first half of 2016.
According to the New York Times, Port Authority traced the source of the leak back to builders who have persistently been spraying water in an attempt to eliminate dust while breaking up the concrete. It also doesn't help that Tower 3, which is still in construction, is completely exposed.
Luckily, the problem is well on its way to being handled. Steven Plate, the director of World Trade Center construction for Port Authority, insists to the paper that the leak has been dramatically reduced, and only affected four of Westfield's retail spots. Throughout construction, stores seemed to come on board one by one, eager for the chance to take advantage of the neighborhood's booming scene, but it's important that the retail spaces are in acceptable condition before they're turned over to Westfield.
Initial reports in 2013 predicted that by now, the center would be up and running, bringing a wide selection of merchandise and price points to lower Manhattan. However, a number of setbacks, mainly the sheer size and scale of the project (currently at 365,000 square feet, not including the 90,000 square feet set to fill Tower 2), have continued to push the opening further and further away.
Plate said that they are working as hard as possible to get the three segments of the building (the Oculus, platforms and mezzanine) open as soon as possible. "We want to be aggressive because we owe it to the people, the patrons of New York, New Jersey and the region," he explained to the Times. "But we want it to be the wonderful experience that we feel they deserve."