Burger chain phenom Danny Meyer is opening a second Shake Shack in the Grand Central area.
The burger joint will open in the 4,774-square-foot, ground- and lower-level spaces formerly occupied by Qdoba Mexican Grill at 600 Third Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets, in a 15-year lease. The eatery is slated to open in the fall.
Plains Trains & Automobiles
When the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reached a federal grant agreement for the East Side Access project in 2006, the agency was optimistic about running Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central Terminal as early as December 2013. Now, after years of delays, the project is likely to be pushed back again, according to The Wall Street Journal.
MTA officials are expected to present a new timeline to the MTA board on Monday with expectations that trains might not be running until 2021 or later. Cost projections have also increased, according to the report, to upwards of $10 billion, up from an estimated $8.24 billion as of this time last year.
There were some striking visions presented for transforming Grand Central Terminal recently, making it a more inviting place amidst the coming Midtown East Rezoning. Now come some truly far-out fantasy’s of one of New York’s favorite public spaces.
In honor of the station’s 100th anniversary next year, the Architectural League and the Transit Museum teamed up to host a drawing competition calling for “architectural sketches for a contemporary terminal.” Well, contemporary they sure are. Among the 20 winners (all on display on the League’s website) are some conventional, and quite lovely, renderings of the station. But there are also some dynamic, dizzying, dreamy and deconstucted ones as well, which The Observer liked best and has collected here.
Apple has been one of the hottest companies on the planet for going on a decade now, and that includes its retail stores. That glass cube on Fifth Avenue is perhaps the architectural icon of the city this century.
When The Observer learned that Apple was thinking of bringing its biggest iStore to Grand Central Terminal last year, it was viewed as a coup for both the company and the MTA—could there be a more desirable shop in a more desirable location? The fanfare that greeted the store’s opening rivaled that of an Apple product launch, with lines for days.
But then it was revealed that Apple was not paying a share of its profits to the MTA, as every other retailer at Grand Central does. The MTA insisted it was a good deal, but State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli promised an investigation last fall, and he has concluded in a new audit [PDF] that Apple got a sweetheart deal that is rotten for the MTA and tax payers.
History has shown us that when being invaded, one party’s failure to cooperate seldom ends peacefully. Although in this instance World War Three won’t be the outcome, for some New Yorkers, it may feel like it: Shake Shack is not coming to Grand Central just yet.
The new Apple store in Grand Central Terminal is a lovely, understated project in one of the city’s premier public spaces.
All the same, some sour apples have been complaining that the Cult of Steve has been paying below market rents for its space, leading to an investigation by the state. The M.T.A. counters that Apple is still paying more than the previous tenant, and its arrival means bigger revenues across Grand Central, given Apple’s appeal. This latter bet appears to be paying off.
SOC It to Me
Seth Pinsky, head of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said that the recent motions to landmark buildings in downtown Brooklyn wouldn’t prohibit landlords there from attracting tenants in search of 21st-Century accommodations.
Mr. Pinsky gave his comments participating in a panel this morning in midtown hosted by the accounting and business consulting firm Margolin, Winer & Evens LLP and came as other panelists, including Mr. Pinsky himself, highlighted the need for new space in the city.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
The main focus of the Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s State of the City speech today may have been on taking another crack at fixing the city’s schools and streamlining its government, but this is still Mike Bloomberg, remaker of skylines and rebuilder of waterfronts, so there was bound to be a lot of development goodies studding the speech.
Aside from the Kingsbridge Armory announcement, which was previewed yesterday, the proposal that most jumped out was one for the heart of Midtown. “In the area around Grand Central, we’ll work with the City Council on a package of regulatory changes and incentives that will attract new investment, new companies and new jobs,” the mayor said.
This time next Friday—actually, starting sometime around Monday probably—the fan boys will begin lining up in Grand Central Terminal to be the first into the new Apple Store when it opens Dec. 9.
Will they care whether Apple is paying $60 per square foot, or $80, or $180? Probably not. But State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli cares, and yesterday, his office announced they would do an audit of the M.T.A.’s real estate practices, following up on one from last year, to make sure the transit agency is not cutting anybody—Apple, Danny Meyer, their mother—a sweetheart deal.
To which the M.T.A.’s response is: “Bring it on.”
With all the fan boy excitement surrounding the new Apple Store at Grand Central, it is no surprise the shiny glass bauble was able to land a sweetheart deal for the space. Now, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is probing Apple’s lease with the M.T.A., according to the Post, looking for signs of whether or not there was anything untoward about the deal.