MTA rolls out 'percentage rent system' for subway shops, newsstands

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The MTA on Wednesday announced it's developing a new strategy to help business owners at shops like Turnstyle, the underground market made up of small businesses in the Columbus Circle subway station after it recently reopened to the public.

The cluster of stores will again feature shopping and multiple food vendors serving grab-and-go food options.

"We are developing a plan, a financial relief plan, for our tenants from a fixed rent system to a percentage rent system. So our interests are aligned," Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction and Development, said.

The percentage rent system will apply to newstands and mom and pop businesses throughout the MTA system, but not for nationwide chains.

"We are approaching the fiscal cliff and eventually the money runs out," Lieber said.

The Turnstyle landlord also gave huge rent breaks during the coronavirus pandemic but with 20 stores scheduled to reopen, the MTA is desperate to bring in revenue with subway ridership down 70 percent

"This entire market is all about the commuters those riding the subways, those going to work, and tourists, and all of those aren't happening," the owner of Woops! Macarons, Pooja Danay, told WABC-TV.

The more revenue Danay is able to bring in, the more rent she and the other shops will pay.

"We're just very thankful for the assistance we're getting from Turnstyle and the MTA we want to do what we can," Danay added.