MTA gets selective choosing tenants for Grand Central Terminal

July 20, 2011 04:09PM

Ten short years ago the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was scratching and clawing for whatever high-profile tenant it could land in the newly renovated Grand Central Terminal. Today, the MTA has a strict process for approving whatever companies apply for space in the transit hub.

According to the New York Times, the agency can be a difficult landlord as it doesn’t display any loyalty to tenants whose leases expire — current tenants must reapply in a manner similar to any prospective tenants — and insists on the right to approve materials, design plans and colors that shop owners use.

But that hasn’t hurt the quality of tenant Grand Central attracts. In fact, according to the Times, the MTA could approve Apple’s application, which was submitted in a linen box as though it were a wedding gift, for a space as soon as next week. Moreover, a Brooklyn beer stand, bread and vegetable stands run by Eli’s and a Kidding Around Toys store are expected to move in during the fall.

Meanwhile, longtime small business owners that provided character before the terminal’s renovation are being pushed out to make room for the wave of boutiques and larger chains.