State Comptroller will probe Apple’s Grand Central deal

December 01, 2011 09:44AM

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From left: State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and renderings of the Apple store in Grand Central
The sweetheart deal that Apple got to open a store in Grand Central Terminal has caught the attention of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, according to the New York Post, and he’s launched an investigation into whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was overly generous with the lease terms.

Apple is paying less rent than most other tenants, including neighbors on the balcony, and is the only of the 100 retailers in the terminal that doesn’t have to share its revenue with the agency.

“This is a prime property, and I intend to make sure that the MTA hasn’t given away the store,” DiNapoli said. Last year the comptroller conducted an audit of the agency’s real estate portfolio and found hundreds of vacancies thanks to poor marketing of properties. DiNapoli had said the MTA must straighten out its portfolio before more service cuts and fair hikes.

An MTA spokesperson noted that as part of the deal Apple promised to improve Grand Central infrastructure, including the installation of a bank of elevators, and paid $5 million to the previous tenant, restaurant Metrazur, to clear the space. [Post]