Monday, July 30, 2012

State Comptroller's audit shows that MTA gave Apple an unfair advantage in Grand Central Station bidding

The New York Post reports that an audit by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reveals that Apple was allowed to dictate some of the bidding terms for the retail space that it subsequently leased in Grand Central Station from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The most blatant hurdle that the MTA accepted was that any bidder had to post $5 million in cash within 30 days in order to bid on the space--a condition which only Apple met. The audit states that “The competitive process followed by MTA . . . was at a minimum severely slanted toward Apple."

The MTA is defending itself by claiming that Apple's first-year rent of $1.1 million is four times what restaurant Metrazur had been paying for the same space, but the Comptroller's office countered that the restaurant's below-market lease payments had been lowered even further by $2.4 million in lease concessions given it because of earlier MTA mistakes.
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