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New NYC Apple Store at Grand Central Terminal Raises Eyebrows

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2011 02:05 PM

While it was rumored to open before Thanksgiving, the Big Apple's shiny new Apple store will open at New York City’s famed Grand Central Terminal on Dec. 9 just in time to rake in the holiday-season bucks as stressed-out commuters make their daily runs to and from the train.

But the New York Post reports that there are a few government officials who are thinking an investigation is in order after the technology giant got itself the deal of the century with the 140-year-old station’s owners, the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Of the more than 100 retailers in the station, Apple's store — the brand's biggest sales outlet to date — will be the only one that “won’t be required to share with the MTA a portion of its revenues above a certain threshold,” the Post reports. Plus, most rents in the station go for $200 or $300 per square foot while Apple is paying $60.

Those kinds of numbers have raised the eyebrows of New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as well as State Sen. Tony Avella, who asked on Thursday for an investigation to take place.

The MTA requested bids in May and says that Apple was the only company to respond, though some realtors are questioning just how well the site was advertised before Apple signed the 10-year lease.

“There is no lack of demand for prime retail space in Grand Central Terminal,” added Kim Mogull, president and CEO of Mogull Realty, according to the Post. “If the MTA is not receiving competing bids at fair market rents on coveted retail such as the Apple space, perhaps the current marketing process should be revisited.”

[image via Flickr/bitchcakesny]

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