The opening-day events planned for Westfield World Trade Center‘s Aug. 16 public unveiling were disclosed on Wednesday by the Australian shopping-center developer.
The activities — both solemn and joyful — will begin just before 11:30 a.m. with a flag commemoration ceremony at Oculus Plaza on the corner of Church and Dey streets, presented in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The transit hub beneath the Oculus provides connections to 13 subway lines and the PATH train. Westfield said it has invited families and individuals with a special connection to the World Trade Center site to attend the opening; events were planned in collaboration with the 9/11 Tribute Center and HEART 9/11 and with support from the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which is adjacent to the Westfield World Trade Center.
There will be family-friendly activities starting at noon at many of the center’s retailers, along with sampling by some of the restaurants and cafes. Hourly shows will be featured in the light-filled Salvatore Calatrava-designed Oculus — the centerpiece of Westfield World Trade Center and the transit hub — including performances by the cast of Broadway’s “School of Rock,” Dr. Draw, the Harlem Gospel Choir, Jordan Smith and, at 6 p.m., an as-yet-unnamed “A-lister.”
The 365,000-square-foot Westfield World Trade Center features retailers such as Banana Republic, H&M, John Varvatos, Dior Cosmetics, Cole Haan, Kate Spade and an upcoming Apple store, as well as dining and grab-and-go food offerings such as Eataly, Epicerie Boulud, Lady M., Starbucks and Market Lane.
Following the 6 p.m performance, there will be a private dinner at Eataly. Frank Lowy, chairman of Westfield, and co-chief executive officers Peter and Steven Lowy are expected to attend, along with boldfaced names from the spheres of business, media, fashion and politics.
Westfield has said that it expects the property to be one of the most visited retail locations in the world. Downtown Manhattan’s 60,000 residents; the 300,000 commuters passing through the transportation hub and the millions of visitors to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, 1 WTC and other sites are seen contributing to the footfall.