Key players in the deal to build a new convention center and medical Mart in downtown Cleveland say the project is on track to break ground within a few months. They spoke about the project Monday at the City Club of Cleveland. Ideastream's Bill Rice has more.
County Commissioner Tim Hagan, Chris Kennedy of Merchandise Mart Properties, and Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove talked up the virtues of the medical mart and convention center, portraying it as a signature facility that will capitalize on Northeast Ohio's medical and health care sector - especially the Cleveland Clinic - and that will provide steady fuel to the city's hospitality industry. Here's Chris Kennedy, who is president of MMPI.:
Kennedy: "I think you can build an enormous trade show business in this town focused on those trade shows that are built around the medical community, and by doing that you can attract to the town thousands, hundreds of thousands of people from other cities, from other countries, all over the world to Cleveland to spend their money here. And that will have an enormous ripple effect throughout the economy."
Cleveland Clinic's Toby Cosgrove said he's gotten positive response from two - Phillips medical products and General electric - about the potential of the medical mart for marketing medical devices.
MMPI and the county reached a deal with the city of Cleveland two months ago to purchase the current convention center on the downtown mall for the project.