Nashville Medical Trade Center Announced

Nashville Media Trade Center Legends Corner

The Market Center Management Company on Monday announced plans to build and operate a $250 million Nashville Medical Trade Center on the site of the city’s existing convention center that officials say could create 2,700 jobs.

Market Center Management officials plan to construct a 12-story tower above the existing convention center with more than 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space, including permanent exhibit space for 600-1,000 medical equipment companies, display space for temporary trade shows and a medical education and symposium center. In all, the project would bring the total available space at the Nashville Medical Trade Center to approximately 2 million square feet. The company is also exploring a possible public interaction center facing Broadway, such as a museum or a broadcast center devoted to health care issues.

The new Medical Trade Center is projected to attract more than 150,000 estimated annual visitors to Nashville. This is a significant number of visitors spending a significant amount of out of State dollars.

“The trade center represents a transformative change and an opportunity for progressive health care innovation,” said Jeffrey Balser, M.D., PhD, vice chancellor of health affairs, Vanderbilt University. “A single location showcasing best practices in products, services, research, training, and education is a uniquely creative approach to bridge industry and institutions.”

Governor Bredesen, who founded and ran Nashville-based Coventry Health Care before entering politics, said the a medical mart is overdue in the health field.

“In one place providers will be able to do something we consumers have taken for granted for years, which is to comparison shop,” Bredesen said. “The end result will be smarter decisions on the part of physicians and hospitals and clinics, along with greater efficiency.”

When will construction begin?

This is an unusually interesting question. Since the official vote to create a replacement convention center has yet to occur, it is hard to say when or if construction could begin. If all plans fell into place, construction could begin as early as mid-2010. For this to occur, the city council needs to vote to approve the creation of a new convention center in Sobro, the remaining land needs to be acquired for that new center, bonds need to be issued for construction and oh yeah, 400 to 500 medical trade space tenants need to sign pre-leasing agreements.

I am obviously not in this line of business, but it would seem a rather tall task to obtain that many tenants that quickly. I hope that someone in this industry can comment below to help enlighten us.

Should all of the above pieces fall into place, the Medical Trade Center could open just as the new convention center does in 2013.

Media Trade Center Location Map

Where will the Medical Trade Center go prior to 2013?

The word in the development world is that Market Center Management is very close to signing a 3 year lease agreement on the vacant 250,000 square foot LifeWay space located along 9th and 10th Avenue North in downtown Nashville. I have no verification of this information other than a few anonymous, yet trusted sources.

What will be the real estate impact for Nashville?

The most obvious answer is that the creating of a Medical Trade Center, a new convention center and all of the ancillary business that accompany these projects will help boost downtown land and building values. It will also create an increased demand for residential housing and may be the catalyst that devours the remaining condo inventory.

I would not be shocked if a new downtown condo project were to rise in Sobro or in the Gulch within 4 years as a result of this increased demand. Additionally, current condo owners in all of the CBD, Sobro and Gulch areas should see their prices increase quite nicely prior to the completion of any new residential units.

What you don’t know about the Medical Trade Center

Dallas based Market Center Management Co. is in direct competition with two rival medical mart projects being pursued in Cleveland and New York.

Bill Winsor, chief executive of Market Center Management, said he expects the Nashville mart to prevail as New York is too expensive and because “Cleveland, in our mind, is not a health care destination.”

The Cleveland project would be operated by Chicago-based Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. County commissioners there increased the sales tax in 2007 by a quarter percentage point to help pay for the proposed $425 million project which has suffered continual setbacks.

More pictures of the Nashville Medical Trade Center

Update 11/22/2010

Is Nashville falling behind Cleveland in the race for a Medical Trade Center?