Apple's Grand Central store opening on December 9
Apple announced on Thursday it will open its new store in Grand Central Terminal next week as state authorities said they are looking into whether the company is paying enough for the prime location.
Apple said it will open the doors to the Grand Central store in downtown Manhattan on December 9. It will be Apple's fifth store in New York.
The New York Post reported Thursday that State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is probing whether the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) gave Apple overly generous terms on its 10-year lease for the store.
According to the newspaper, Apple is the only retailer among the 100 or so in Grand Central not required to make revenue-sharing payments to the landlord and its first-year lease rate is "well below" that being charged to neighboring tenants.
The Comptroller's Office performed an audit last year of MTA's real estate management practices and DiNapoli said Thursday that he has asked his staff to immediately conduct a follow-up audit.
"While it is common to check back with agencies my office has audited to determine if progress has been made based on our recommendations, the article in the New York Post about the MTA's contract with Apple in Grand Central Terminal is a cause for concern," he said in a statement. "This is a prime property and I intend to make sure that the MTA hasn't given away the store."
Apple has around 360 stores worldwide including 245 in the United States.
(c) 2011 AFP