Limited Food and Retail Choices at MTA’s New LIRR Grand Central Madison TerminalNovember 26, 2023
Retail in the transit system is gradually rebounding, but the storefronts at the MTA’s new property in the LIRR terminal at Grand Central Madison remain empty. The 140-foot concourse below Grand Central features 25,000 square feet of vacant space, with 32 storefronts papered over with generic retail scenes. Only seven kiosks, mostly selling food or coffee, are currently open, with plans for three more in the near future. Commuters feel that more options are necessary, with some even suggesting basic amenities such as Hudson News or Starbucks be added.
MTA has expressed the desire to find a “master tenant” to sublet and manage the entire space, with plans to issue formal requests for proposals in the first quarter of 2024. However, retail in the system’s other areas is showing signs of improvement, with the holiday market returning to Grand Central Terminal for its second year after the pandemic. Moreover, there is increased retail activity throughout the system, with more shops opening up.
Despite the slow progress in the transit system’s retail landscape, retailers in Manhattan seem to be in a “healthy place,” with steady demand.