Monday, May 23, 2011

Will Grand Central Terminal Be Home to New York's Next Apple Store?

There's an Apple Store connected to the Louvre in Paris, one in London's Covent Garden, and another under the Pearl tower in Shanghai. Soon there could be another landmark added to that list. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple could fill an empty spot in New York's Grand Central Terminal with another retail location.
The city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which has the lease on Grand Central, is hoping Apple will make a bid on a spot in "two adjacent balconies on the north and east sides of the terminal." Part of the space is currently occupied by chef Charlie Palmer's restaurant, Métrazur. His lease is good until 2019, but Métrazur will close July 1. A new tenant would have to pay Palmer a "substantial sum of money" in order for him to vacate, the WSJ says. Palmer pays $400,000 a year for the space, a price that was agreed to just after the MTA completed a $200 million renovation of Grand Central Station in the '90s.

"We believe that this special site in Grand Central Terminal can generate more revenue to support transit services," MTA spokesperson Jeremy Soffin told the WSJ.
The MTA, which is predicting financial losses for the future, hopes Apple will bid on the space. Not surprisingly, Apple has been tight-lipped on the matter.
Reports of a Grand Central Apple Store aren't new. They first emerged in February, but were squashed the following month. If the newest reports are true, a Grand Central store would be Apple's fifth brick-and-mortar location in New York City and would take some of the pressure off Apple's Fifth Avenue Store, which is currently the closest location to Grand Central. Located in a high-traffic tourist area and open 24 hours a day, the Fifth Avenue location is the smallest Manhattan Apple store, though it does more business than all the other three stores in the city combined.