I worked on the leasing of all the new retail space in grand central after it was renovated in the 90's and di napoli has no clue what he is talking about. leasing for space takes place behind the scene years in advance of available space all the time. there is no requirement for competitive bidding on leasing, instead leasing for commercial spaces (especially in mall like environments) is determined by a wide ranging amount of factors (eg, things like total square footage to be rented, credit worthiness of the tenant, length of lease term sought, possible length and number of extensions, any potential additional rent, traffic driven by Anchor type tenants, etc.). In every single commercial lease transaction the tenant is deeply involved in the negotiations and no two leases are ever the same (there is no such thing as a boilerplate standard lease in commercial leasing, as there is in residential leasing - IOWs lease terms are not written in stone, hey are all negotiable). The point to be made is that it costs landlords money to have space not rented and there is often far greater benefit to landlords to have a desirable long term, large sized, anchor tenant in place at lower per square foot rent, than to break up the space into smaller units with higher Rent per SF. Grand central is a notoriously difficult space, because there is little you can do in terms of outward modification, the retail spaces are generally small (at least on the inside of the station) and the overall traffic on the interior of the station is not typically trying to stop and shop (outside of at a small number of retailers that is). Apple gave the MTA the opportunity to rent out one of the biggest and most difficult to use spaces within grand central for a long period of time (decades in this case), while at the same time creating an anchor that drives traffic beyond that which naturally passes through the station (no small feat). In the long term this allows Grand central to be in a better position to negotiate new leases for existing space with existing or new tenants, especially as it applies to other existing, difficult to lease spaces within the station. Could the MTA have gotten a better deal? Hell yes, IMHO, at least they should have insisted on sales based percentage rent. However the deal that they got is not a bad one. Di Napoli has no clue what he is talking about.