The Real Deal New York

MTA accused of rigging retail bid process at Grand Central

The owner of Grande Harvest Wines has taken the agency to court
January 25, 2015 10:00AM

A Grand Central Terminal retail tenant is taking the MTA to court, alleging that the agency has “rigged” the bidding process for the space.

Bruce Nevins has run Grande Harvest Wines in a 960-square-foot space in Grand Central’s Graybar Pass for 16 years. But now the MTA wants to give him the boot, according to the New York Post.“I wouldn’t have done this if I knew we could potentially lose it all,” said Nevins, referring to his decision to take a lease at Grand Central Terminal.

Nevins claims in court documents that his lease was awarded to a different bidder “in secret,” and without a public hearing.

At the end of his lease, Nevins put in a competitive bid, including a 30 percent rent increase. It was the only bid the MTA received. But hoping for more competition, the agency decided to reopen the bidding process two more times.

The authority eventually received a $4.5 million bid from 120 Nassau Corp Inc., which won out over Grande Harvest’s $3.3 million proposal.

The MTA says it simply went with the highest bidder. [NYP]Christopher Cameron