MTA cuts rent up to 90% for small businesses

Merchants in Grand Central, other locations to pay based on sales

New York /
Oct.October 28, 2020 05:13 PM
The MTA board approved rent relief for small businesses in Grand Central and other locations (iStock)

The MTA board approved rent relief for small businesses in Grand Central and other locations (iStock)

The MTA board voted unanimously Wednesday to relieve rent for its small-business tenants at Grand Central Terminal.

Under the move, which had been proposed earlier this month, qualifying businesses at Grand Central and all other Metropolitan Transportation Authority locations except the Fulton Street Transit Center will owe no rent for April through July, Crain’s reported.

As of Aug. 1, rent will change to either 10 percent of a store’s gross sales or 10 percent of its original rent through the end of the year, whichever is higher. Under the second option, rents will increase to 20 percent on Jan. 1.

The rent reductions will remain in place either until Jan. 31, 2023, or until ridership returns to 75 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Over the past week ridership has been about 30 percent of what it was a year ago.

For the first eight months of the pandemic, all businesses on MTA property were charged full rent, with missed payments triggering penalties.

To qualify for abatement, stores cannot have their rent covered by funds from business-interruption insurance or owe rent from before April. Major retail chains and banks are also excluded from the program.

[Crain’s] — Sasha Jones


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