New York Not Happy with Apple’s Grand Central Store Lease

Following a report that Apple’s lease terms for its soon to open Grand Central store don’t include revenue sharing, New York’s State Comptroller is planning to launch an investigation into why the Mac and iPad maker received much better terms than the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s other tenants.

New York officials want to know why Apple's Grand Central lease is so sweetNew York officials want to know why Apple’s Grand Central lease is so sweet

The New York Post broke the story on Apple’s Grand Central Terminal lease on Wednesday. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli responded by saying, “The article in the New York Post about the MTA’s contract with Apple in Grand Central Terminal is a cause for concern. This is a prime property, and I intend to make sure that the MTA hasn’t given away the store.”

Officials are also questioning why Apple’s US$60 per square foot lease is so much lower than the $200 other tenants are paying.

Apple struck a deal for the Grand Central Terminal location in July, landing 23,000 square feet of space for its new store. That makes the Grand Central location one of Apple’s largest stores in the world once it opens, behind London’s Regent Street location at 25,000 square feet, and Covent Garden at 24,000 square feet.

Apple had previously been rumored to be opening the Grand Central store in time for Black Friday, but Thanksgiving came and went without any announcement. Assuming Apple does open the store next weekend, it’ll still have two weeks to sell iPads, iPhones and Macs ahead of the Christmas holiday.

MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan said it was proactively working to increase revenue, and managed to quadruple the rent for the space Apple is using. “[Apple is] effectively paying $180 per square foot over the 10 years of the lease, almost ten times the previous tenant,” he said.