Nashville Medical Trade Center Close to Reality

medical tradeThis article entitled “Medical trade center closes in on downtown location” appeared in the Nashville Business Journal on August the 21th, 2009. The author is Jenny Burns:

“Market Center Management Company is in negotiations for a downtown location to bring its mammoth medical trade center to Nashville, a move that developers say will bring thousands of health care professionals to Music City annually to a center larger than the city’s planned convention center.

Executives with the Dallas-based Market Center would not yet reveal the site for the $300 million Nashville Medical Trade Center, but say the existing building will allow the company to open 275,000 square feet of exhibit space by July 2010 and then start construction on the remaining phases at a nearby location.

Only a few buildings downtown offer that much space. The AT&T building has 280,000 square feet available, and the new Pinnacle tower slated to open in January has 240,000 square feet available, which wouldn’t be enough room unless they split up the space, says Whit McCrary, office division leader for real estate broker Colliers Turley Martin Tucker.

The entire project is 1.5 million square feet of medical convention and trade center space – larger than the city’s planned construction of the 1.2 million-square-foot Music City Center south of Broadway. The trade center will take several years to complete, but developers don’t have a set timeline.”

You may also recall that Market Center has recently retained long time Nashville resident David Osborn to serve as a key consultant to the project. Osborn has thick Vanderbilt ties as well as ties to venture capital based health care solutions.

Yes, I too think that we are jumping the gun on what only amounts to site selection, but if you’ll recall a very similar flurry of stories hit back in 2005…just before Nissan North America announced its headquarters move to Nashville, TN. However, Nashville has been named to PMI’s top 10 most stable real estate markets and Nashville has added jobs to its city in this exact manner before. If I had to guess, I would say that both the new convention center and medical trade center will be building and/or completed within the next 5 years.