MTA eyes future of dining, retail at new Grand Central Madison terminal

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- The MTA released its request for proposals Tuesday to add retail and dining at Grand Central Madison, the LIRR's new terminal at Grand Central.

The announcement was followed by a panel discussion on jobs and the importance of retail in transportation.

The MTA has been attempting to recruit businesses to fill 32 retail units for the Grand Central Madison concourse. And it's New York City or Long Island brands with loyal followers they have their eye on.

"I think the world experiences Grand Central as one of the safest places to be in transit in New York certainly," said MTA Chair Janno Lieber. "This facility has been virtually perfect since day one."

The agency recently lured Tracks Raw Bar & Grill, an oyster bar that was a longtime commuter favorite in Penn Station before it was forced to relocate during the 2019 construction project that is still ongoing.

The $11 billion station introduced new train service from Long island and Queens directly to Manhattan's East Side, which represents the core of East Midtown. East Midtown has been referred as the most high value business district in the world by business and transit leaders.

What we are seeing here completes that mix," added Boston Properties Senior Vice President of Development Rich Monopoli. "This is a beautiful execution of transportation facilities. Couple that with retail that's coming, that drives office consumption."

The Grand Central Madison space will also feature separate retail and dining from the Grand Central Terminal retail run by the MTA's other commuter railroad, Metro-North. This development comes as retailers are leaving Fulton Center - another transit hub - over public safety concerns.

"I have to feel safe safe placing my employees in a safe area," said business owner Brenda LaManna. "I have to feel good about that, and I do. And down here, I think it's going to be the same.

The density of space afforded to workers in this area equals to 200,000 employees working within a 70 block radius,

Proposals from retail managers are due in June, with the MTA hoping to make a selection by fall.

The MTA also hopes to have some stores ramp up during 2025 and fully occupied by 2026.
January 23rd marked one year since the MTA opened Grand Central Madison, giving Long Island Rail Road riders direct access to Manhattan's east side.

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