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MTA: Shake Shack and Apple Will Open Shop at Grand Central

Two stores known for their bites and bytes will soon be opening shop in Grand Central Terminal. On Monday, the Metro North Finance Committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) approved requests from Shake Shack and Apple to open up spaces at the station.

The transportation authority, which is the landlord at Grand Central, said it supported the move because it hoped to generate more rental income from its real estate. Both stores will also bring more foot traffic to the station.

Shake Shack will take over the space in the lower-level dining concourse currently held by Zocalo, a Mexican restaurant and bar. A queue along the Oyster Bar ramp will be maintained to accommodate crowds.

Zocalo had also submitted a proposal to renew its lease, but Shake Shack offered to pay more per year in rent.

The Apple store will open in the main concourse on the east balcony, where Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur is currently located, and on a vacant northeast balcony.

Although Metrazur’s lease was not set to expire until 2019, the restaurant failed to generate percentage rent — rent paid as a percentage of retail sales — prompting the MTA's real estate division to obtain a conditional surrender agreement in May and begin a search for a new tenant.

Apple also committed to paying a much higher rent on Metrazur's old space, according to the MTA.

Shake Shack, which already has six locations in NYC, including those at Madison Square Park and Citi Field — and it's also planning to open another spot at Fulton St. in Brooklyn — said it was looking forward to the move.

“As we expand Shake Shack we are looking to make our home in vibrant locations throughout New York City and beyond,” a Shake Shack representative told WNYC over e-mail. “Grand Central Terminal is a spectacularly beautiful historic landmark that serves as both a transportation hub and cultural point of interest for residents, commuters and tourists alike.”

The companies will go before the MTA's general board for a final vote of approval on Wednesday.