Attracting healthcare conferences is a goal of many cities, but few have tried to take it to a new level by building medical marts that are part convention center, part medical product showroom. While the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center is still looking healthy, the Denver-based developer of a potential rival medical mart in Nashville has announced that it has shelved its plans to redevelop the city’s old convention center into a year-round medical Mecca.
While the Nashville Medical Trade Center did attract the interest of enough companies to prelease 400,000 square feet of the planned 600,000-square-foot planned space, it fell short of what developer Market Center Management needed to get the financing it required to keep the project going, according to an article on GreenvilleOnline.com.
MCM CEO Bill Winsor blamed the economy, not the concept, for the mart’s inability to attract enough medical companies to sign up. “We were always met with enthusiasm by companies and organizations, and we were joined by partners with the foresight to support the durable benefits of a single home for healthcare commerce, education, and innovation,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, long-term vision was met head-on by the shorter term realities of the sluggish U.S. economy, healthcare policy uncertainty, and the immediate pressures on quarterly revenues that created barriers for many global companies.”
An attempt to develop a similar type of medical mart in New York also failed to get off the ground. The Cleveland Medical Mart, which will include 90,000 square feet of high-tech meeting rooms and a 30,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom in addition to permanent and on-demand exhibition space, is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013.