The New York Post just outed the M.T.A.’s secret Valentine: Apple. As the paper reports, the M.T.A. seems to have handed Apple prime square footage in Grand Central with precious few stipulations, despite the retail location’s expected windfall of $100 million a year in sales.
Not only did the M.T.A. give Apple the bargain basement price of $60-per-sq-ft. (Shake Shack, by contrast is paying $200-per-sq-ft.), but the M.T.A. also failed to negotiate a percentage of sales, leaving real estate insiders scratching their heads.
“I am surprised they didn’t get some kind of percentage,” said Robin Abrams, executive vice president at real estate firm Lansco. “You’d think if they were going to do, say, $50 million in sales, the MTA would at least get some percentage of anything over that.”
The M.T.A. claims they are now getting quadruple the amount previous tenants paid for that particular space. However, according to leases obtained by the Post, except for a lone Chase ATM, all the other shops and restaurants in Grand Central “pay the MTA a percentage of their sales that exceed a given threshold. For every 1 percent increase in their sales, the MTA projects it will reap $500,000,” says the paper.
Who knew the Steve Jobs reality distortion field worked on transportation execs? Just wait til next year when Apple tries convinces the M.T.A. to upgrade its antiquated old lease for a shiny new Lease 4S. Still no 4G on that either.