Back in February, Apple lovers were gushing over the rumor about an Apple Store actually opening a location in Grand Central Terminal. The rumor originally started with a story in The New York Observer with interest confirmed by ifoApplestore.
Fast forward to tomorrow’s edition of the Wall Street Journal which claims the seed has been planted for the technology giant to work with the MTA. Andrew Grossman has more:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking for new tenants for a marquee space in Grand Central Terminal, and computer giant Apple Inc. has expressed interest in putting a store there.
The agency is looking for a single renter for two adjacent balconies on the north and east sides of the terminal. It will issue a request for proposals Monday. The current tenant of one of the balconies, celebrity chef Charlie Palmer’s Métrazur restaurant, plans to close July 1 even though his lease ran until 2019 and the eatery was doing “quite well,” Mr. Palmer said Sunday.
A new tenant would be required to pay Mr. Palmer a substantial sum of money to vacate his lease.
“It’s an offer that’s hard to refuse,” said Mr. Palmer, who declined to put a number on it. “It’s hard to compete with whatever that company might be that’s taking the space.”
If Apple inks a deal to put a store in the train terminal, it would be company’s fifth Manhattan retail location. It would also be among the most challenging. The terminal is a city landmark, so any changes to the interior must be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. At 15,230 square feet, the space the MTA is putting up for rent is small compared to Apple’s other Manhattan locations.
But the payoff could be high for the gadget maker. In addition to the tens of thousands of well-heeled commuters who pass through every day on their way to and from Connecticut’s Gold Coast and Westchester County, Grand Central is a magnet for tourists who come to gawk at its Beaux-Arts architecture and constellation-dotted ceiling.
Retail experts said an Apple store in Grand Central could surpass the popularity of the store that’s open 24 hours a day under the plaza in front the General Motors building. Apple’s designers built that store by putting a glass cube leading into a basement on Fifth Avenue, and experts figure the computer maker would figure out a clever way to make the Grand Central site work.
The MTA has spoken with Apple about the space and hopes that the company bids on it, said Jeremy Soffin, a spokesman for the authority. Other stores and restaurants could also bid on the space. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
Click here for the complete report.
Am I the only one tired of the back & forth with Apple renting out space from the MTA in Grand Central? Personally I don’t care if they open a store there or not. If they do, all I want to see is that they are a good tenant & pay market rate for the space as any kind of sweetheart deal is something the MTA should not engage in. We shall see…….
xoxo Transit Blogger