Medical trade center could be coming to Nashville - WKRN News 2

Medical trade center could be coming to Nashville

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DALLAS, Texas - An international medical trade center could soon be coming to Middle Tennessee.

Dallas-based Market Center Management Company announced intentions Monday to move forward with plans to build a 1.5 million square foot, health expo center in Nashville.

When complete, Nashville Medical Trade Center will be the only such facility in the United States.

"The medical trade center concept has been discussed in several cities over the years but is best suited to Nashville given the expansive health care institutions and the collaborative spirit between industry, research and the city," said Dr. Harry Jacobson, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.   "The infrastructure and organizations already in place in this region will successfully support this project."

Nashville Medical Trade Center could open its doors as early as 2010, bringing additional jobs to the area and attracting visitors from around the world.

"An international medical trade center is a natural fit for Nashville, already the national hub for medical business and education," said Bill Winsor, president and CEO of Market Center Management Company.

He said the trade center would have three components; permanent showrooms for healthcare companies, space for temporary trade shows exhibitions and conference rooms to accommodate medical trade events.

The Nashville project rivals a similar medical trade center proposed for Cleveland, Ohio.

"There is competition in Cleveland," Winsor told News 2.  "Their timing is much longer than ours, our hope and goal is to be open with our first phase in July 2010."

Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. of Chicago is slated to build the facility, which, at a proposed 585,000 square feet, is much smaller than the proposed Nashville Medical Trade Center.

A site for the Nashville center has not been determined.

Winsor said ongoing discussions between Market Center Management and Nashville business and city leaders have taken place in both Dallas and in Nashville over the course of several months and will continue.

"We have evaluated what we think the costs would be to deliver the space, obviously it is going to depend upon space we end up with, but it is measure in the hundreds of millions of dollars," he said.

City leaders have not commented on the proposal.

Market Center Management operates market centers on three continents including a retail trade center in Dallas, a fashion design center in Los Angeles, and expo halls in Brussels, Belgium and Shanghai, China.

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