The Tao of Steve

MTA to Says ‘Bring It On’ to Investigation Over Sweetheart Deal for Apple in Grand Central

bringiton MTA to Says Bring It On to Investigation Over Sweetheart Deal for Apple in Grand Central

The MTA wants to show the Comptroller its spirit stick.

The MTA is not afraid of New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The Comptroller announced yesterday that he would be investigating whether the MTA gave Apple too sweet a deal on its Grand Central lease. For its response, the MTA dug deep in the turn-of-the-century sports comedy cannon:

“With regard to any calls for an investigation into the lease, our comment is this: ‘Bring it on,'” the agency told MacRumors

The New York Post first broke the story that the MTA gave Apple a very different deal than its other tenants—offering the tech giant the low-low price of $60 per-sq-ft. and no profit-sharing clause. But the MTA argues that the space’s previous tenant, Metrazur, only paid $263,000 in rent and didn’t make enough money to be subjected to profit-sharing either. Apple, on the other hand, will be paying $1.1 million a year, and that’s after a $5 million buyout of Metrazur’s lease and $2.5 million in infrastructure improvements, which needed to follow historic preservation regulations.

The MTA tells MacRumors:

“This is the best possible deal for the MTA. When all of the costs are included, Apple is paying more than $180 per square foot over the ten-year lease. As the competitive bidding process revealed, there are no other uses for this space that would generate the same revenue for the MTA given the up-front costs and limitations.”

The MTA also says that other tenants are “very pleased” about the prospect of additional foot traffic that Apple will bring in. Although considering they have to share profits and Apple doesn’t (American Apple exceptionalism!), we imagine it’s the same kind of “very pleased” startups issue from behind gritted teeth when Apple muscles into their territory.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com