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New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is set to sell or lease some of the millions of square feet of office space it owns, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The measure comes as the outfit strives to close a gap in its budge of approximately USD 1 million. It is currently trying to close this gap without resorting to upping fares or cutting back on service.
MTA has a glut of unused office space throughout the city of New York and White Plains after having cut administrative staff by 18 percent in the last couple of years. It is now casting around for a real estate firm to help it sell or lease the unused space.
Almost USD 89 million per year is spent by the MTA on rent, operating costs and taxes on its properties.
Robert Knakal, the chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services told the WSJ: “Clearly, the MTA has a very significant amount of excess real estate that could be converted into cash.”
MTA headquarters has 277,000 square feet of office space spread over three separate but adjoining buildings which dominate the west side of Madison Avenue, running between 44th and 45th streets. Grand Central Terminal is connected to the buildings via a below ground passage.
According to the WSJ the MTA also has five buildings in Jamaica, Queens, and has long term leases on buildings in downtown Brooklyn. One of these is the Transit Museum on Livingston Street.
Currently the MTA serves 12 counties in New York and two counties in Connecticut under contract with the Connecticut Department of Transport. It carries over 11 million passengers per day and more than 800,000 cars per day. It has seven toll bridges and two tunnels.