The property developer behind the Cleveland medical mart says it has secured leases with two tenants, but declined to identify them.
That was the highlight of a largely uneventful business plan update presentation to the Cuyahoga County Council from Mark Falanga, president of Chicago-based MMPI, which is developing the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center.
Council members took it easy on Falanga during the question-and-answer session after his presentation, asking no difficult or uncomfortable questions. None inquired about the signed leases or the identities of the companies that signed them. None inquired about the reasons behind public statements from the project’s general manager that gave the impression MMPI was shifting its business model from a collection of medical products showrooms to that of a medical education center.
On the talk of a shifting focus, Falanga was clear: “The business plan at inception is the same business plan today,” he said,while acknowledging that education is a “critical component” of that plan.
MMPI has nonbinding letters of intent with 66 prospective tenants and is working with a group of 36 of them to finalize leases. One or two of those 36 are “shaky,” but most are “rock solid,” Falanga said. Others will follow as they see evidence of a successful project, he said.
“The larger manufacturers are taking more of a wait-and-see attitude,” he said.
Regarding conventions and trade shows, MMPI has 27 letters of intent and two signed contracts. “Show managers, in particular, are risk-averse and hesitant to commit to a facility that is not yet completed,” Falanga said.
MMPI is also pursuing nonmedical trade shows for the $465 million medical mart and convention center, which is scheduled to open on Aug. 31, 2013.