Apple Readying Bid on Grand Central Terminal Retail Space?

In the on-again, off-again rumors about Apple lining up retail space in Grand Central Terminal (often incorrectly dubbed "Station"), it appears its on again. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is indeed in discussions 15,000 sq. ft. space in the terminal, which would be a fairly large retail outlet, although not the Cupertino, CA company's largest.

Reports of Apple seeking to put a retail store in Grand Central Terminal first surfaced in early February. There were some rumors indicating that the store could even be Apple's largest, but a few weeks later, info arose stating that Apple had reversed its plans.

There's no certainty Apple would get the space. Grand Central Terminal openings are filled by an open bidding process (which would, of course mean that Apple's plans would have to be made public). In addition, the current tenant is vacating the space early, and would need to be compensated for vacating his lease.

Here's what the WSJ said:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking for new tenants for a marquee space in Grand Central Terminal, and computer giant Apple Inc. has expressed interest in putting a store there.

The agency is looking for a single renter for two adjacent balconies on the north and east sides of the terminal. It will issue a request for proposals Monday. The current tenant of one of the balconies, celebrity chef Charlie Palmer's Métrazur restaurant, plans to close July 1 even though his lease ran until 2019 and the eatery was doing "quite well," Mr. Palmer said Sunday.

A new tenant would be required to pay Mr. Palmer a substantial sum of money to vacate his lease.
Palmer currently pays $400,000 annually for the space. That price was nogotiated just after the GCT's renovation was completed in 1998. The MTA, which projects large budget deficits in the coming years, is convinced it can get much more than that at current rates.