Being Canadian, the extent of capitalism always comes as a bit of a shock to me. Things like transit systems, something government-operated in Canada, are privately run and filled with outside advertising. I specifically noticed this when riding the subway in New York City, which is why I was less surprised than normal when I heard about Apple striking a deal with MTA. The deal would allow for Cupertino to open a brand new Apple Store in Grand Central Terminal.
Travelers better start planning their vacations around the release of new Apple hardware because you can bet on the fact that Apple fanatics will think it’s just that much cooler to buy the new iPhone in Grand Central, rather than some regular store. Mix that crowd in with the crowd of people waiting for the train and you’ve got a full-fledged nightmare situation on your hands. The New York Post reports that the 23,000-square-foot store will take up Grand Central’s north and northeast balconies. Apple will be responsible for funding the renovations and improvements to the space. This comes along with the information that the rent for the space is a whopping $800,000 a year, which equals a $500,000 increase from the restaurant that previously occupied the space.
The MTA said the deal “has the potential to bring a great new shopping destination to iconic Grand Central Terminal and significantly increase revenues for the MTA’s transportation system.”
Just how much of an increase in revenue? They are putting that number at a minimum of 5 million dollars. It may be a thinly-veiled and shameless publicity stunt for MTA and Apple, but regardless of its transparency, it will no doubt prove to be a great money grab for both parties. Let’s just hope that Grand Central can hold onto it’s original charm and avoid being sucked into a world of commercialism. On second thought, perhaps the sucking has already begun.