Report Westfield to Sell WTC Lease

September 15, 2003

Australia’s Westfield Holdings, one of the largest property leasing companies in the U.S., is reportedly in talks with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to sell its interest in the World Trade Center lease.

According to an article published by Reuters News Agency, the company has signed a letter of intent to sell its interest for $140 million. It had originally acquired the lease in an agreement with Silverstein Properties the master leaseholder. Westfield specializes in commercial property management, particularly shopping malls.

Reuters noted that company chairman Frank Lowy indicated the move would speed up the rebuilding of the WTC site by resolving any potential conflict “between the interests of the public and the needs of our commercial/net lease rights.”

Westfield has joined with Silverstein in its lawsuit against Swiss Re and other WTC insurers, in seeking to recover for the loss of both buildings. The companies claim that the attacks of September 11 that destroyed the twin towers constituted “one occurrence,” rather than two. Each building was valued at around $3.6 billion, and the lawsuit has been progressing through the courts.

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