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Nashville Medical Mart lands first anchor tenant

Score the latest round for Nashville in the race to open the nation’s first medical mart. The Nashville Medical Trade Center has landed the first anchor tenant for its $300 million, 1.5 million square-foot project:  health information technology group HIMSS, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society. In February, the Nashville project’s developers announced an agreement […]

Score the latest round for Nashville in the race to open the nation’s first medical mart.

The Nashville Medical Trade Center has landed the first anchor tenant for its $300 million, 1.5 million square-foot project:  health information technology group HIMSS, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society. In February, the Nashville project’s developers announced an agreement with Lipscomb University to open an education center at the medical mart, but HIMSS marks the first business tenant for the project.

As an anchor tenant, HIMSS would be expected to be among the largest and most traffic-generating lease holders in the development. The developers likely hope that HIMSS’ presence in the medical mart helps them recruit some of the trade group’s 380 corporate members, which include big names like Cisco Systems, Google and Microsoft.

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Overall, HIMSS boasts more than 23,000 members. It’s based in Chicago, but has other offices in Washington, D.C; Belgium and Singapore.

HIMSS will lease at least 25,000 square feet, the Nashville Business Journal reported. A HIMSS official wasn’t available for comment.

HIMSS will use the space to establish what it calls an “interoperability showcase,” an exhibit that would show how health IT can be used to share patient data across a range of healthcare settings, according to a statement from the Nashville Medical Trade Center.

Still, the announcement is just one step in what promises to be a long fight between Cleveland, New York and Nashville to open the nation’s first medical-products showcase. And by no means is it a guarantee of success for Nashville. The New York project’s developers publicly named 11 tenants in July, but the $1 billion project now appears to be in jeopardy–or at the very least on hold as the economy and commercial construction market continue to languish.

Cleveland’s medical mart is scheduled to break ground in October, but has not yet announced any tenants.

Developers of the Cleveland and Nashville projects plan to open in 2013. The Nashville project needs about 60 to 70 percent of its space to be preleased by tenants before it can start construction, the project’s developer told Modern Healthcare earlier this month.

Cleveland’s big advantage is that it has a committed source of financing for its proposed $425 million, 600,000-square-foot project by way of a quarter-cent increase in the county sales tax. So far the tax hike has yielded more than $90 million that’ll go toward the project.