CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cuyahoga County Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement to advance its medical mart project – a critical step into making the construction of a medical sales and convention emporium a reality.
The development agreement outlines how public dollars will be used with Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., which will manage and build the medical mart. It also outlined a series of benchmarks MMPI must meet – including landing 10 tenants for the medical mart and 10 events and convention in a year’s time – and outlined how the public will be able to monitor public dollars.
Both MMPI and the county want to build the medical mart and convention center on the site of the current convention center along with some adjacent land. The City of Cleveland owns the old convention center property and negotiations are underway to get the land. Other property owners must also sell to the county.
Getting that land is the next in a series of major steps. But critics of the site – primarily those who own or would directly benefit from a different location – indicated Thursday they would continue to campaign for a different site.
This approval “isn’t the end, it’s the beginning” of the process, county Administrator Jim McCafferty said. Anyone can take issue with county construction contracts and the several other approvals that have to occur for the entire project to get underway.
If all goes well, developers would break ground on the project in October 2010.