Westfield is to develop the retail at New York’s World Trade Center site.

Westfield has signed a letter of intent with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop the retail element of the scheme at Ground Zero.

Under the terms of the transaction, Westfield and the Port Authority will form a joint venture to own the retail facilities, with Westfield responsible for management and leasing.

Westfield will invest up to US$625m (£316m) towards the costs of the development.

The transaction is subject to completion of legal documentation and due diligence.

Westfield had orinigally owned an interest in the retail facilities at the World Trade Center in July 2001 but in December 2003 it sold its interest to the Port Authority to help simplify the rebuilding process.

‘We are excited to be back.’ said Westfield group managing director Peter Lowy.

‘We always wanted to be a part of the revitalization of this historic site once the plans were finalized. With the Port Authority, we look forward to creating a world-class, iconic shopping destination for Lower Manhattan.’

The scheme will comprise 488,000 sq ft across multiple levels, with the main retail space located in the new transit terminal designed by Santiago Calatrava.