Medical trade mart could begin operations next summer - WKRN News 2

Medical trade mart could begin operations next summer

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Bill Winsor, Market Center Management Company CEO Bill Winsor, Market Center Management Company CEO

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The world's first medical trade center proposed for downtown Nashville could begin operating as soon as next summer.

In an exclusive interview with Bill Winsor, CEO of Market Center Management, the Dallas-based company that will build the medical trade mart, News 2 learned the changes for Nashville will be rapid.

Winsor said Market Center Management hopes to have some kind of operation up and running in downtown Nashville by the summer of 2010.

The five-year plan includes 1.5 million square feet of space that will be made up of three parts; permanent showrooms, temporary trade show space and other conference facilities that will be used year-round.

Nashville was chosen over cities like Cleveland, Orlando and New York City.

"I wouldn't be in Nashville if I didn't think it was the right place," Winsor said.  "We've looked at it long and hard... It's a one place, one destination, one trading capitol kind of opportunity."

Winsor said he expects the trade center will eventually create around 1,000 full time jobs in addition to hundreds of part-time jobs during trade events.

Once the trade center is complete, in about five years, Market Center Management estimates Nashville will see about 100,000 more visitors each year.

"The profile of the buyer and the seller coming into this center is going to be higher income level people that are going to be spending a lot of money in this town when they're here," said Winsor.

Market Center Management is looking at three potential sites downtown to locate the center and Winsor said they hope to make a decision soon.

In order to begin operations in just one year, Phase I of the project will not require any new construction.

Winsor said they simply need space in an existing building, like the current convention center, for example.

"We'll have new construction in our second, third and fourth phases because you can't cobble enough of that space together now without building more space to reach 1.5 million square feet," explained Winsor.

Market Center Management said they have no plans at this point to ask Metro government for help with financing the project.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's office told News 2 they haven't received any formal proposals from the company about its plans.

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