State of New York Probing Apple’s Retail Presence at Grand Central Station

Apple’s soon-to-open retail presence in New York City’s Grand Central Station is the buzz of the retail world of late, and not without good reason.

Part of the impetus for the incessant coverage on this retail outlet is the fact that Apple received such a good deal on the real estate.

The 23,000 square foot store will be massive – approximately 3,000 square feet larger than the company’s largest existing flagship retail locations.

But Apple’s “sweetheart deal” to make the store happen on such prime real estate is drawing attention from some top officials in New York.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is behind a new investigation that seeks to expose whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority gave Apple overly generous terms on its lease for the shop, the New York Post reports.

The Post reported that Apple’s lease is “well below what many other tenants are paying” — including a future Shake Shack burger establishment, which will pay more than $200 a square foot.

“The article in the New York Post about the MTA’s contract with Apple in Grand Central Terminal is a cause for concern,” DiNapoli said this week. “This is a prime property, and I intend to make sure that the MTA hasn’t given away the store.” It should be pointed out that DiNapoli has a lengthy history of auditing the MTA real-estate portfolio. He has previously uncovered what the Post called “lax recordkeeping, hundreds of vacancies and mediocre marketing of properties.”

It remains to be seen what – if anything – will actually result from the investigation.