Hospitals

Nashville medical mart lands anchor tenant, furniture maker Steelcase

The Nashville medical mart has a signed five-year lease with another anchor tenant, publicly traded furniture maker Steelcase (NYSE:SCS). Nurture, the healthcare-focused brand of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Steelcase, plans to occupy up to 4,000 square feet of space in the Nashville Medical Trade Center, which is slated for a 2013 opening, according to a report […]

The Nashville medical mart has a signed five-year lease with another anchor tenant, publicly traded furniture maker Steelcase (NYSE:SCS).

Nurture, the healthcare-focused brand of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Steelcase, plans to occupy up to 4,000 square feet of space in the Nashville Medical Trade Center, which is slated for a 2013 opening, according to a report in The Tennessean.

Steelcase, which posted revenue of $2.4 billion in its most recent fiscal year, is a solid pickup for Nashville, which has struggled to sign tenants in the two years since it announced plans to enter the medical mart competition.

Nonetheless, the property developer behind the Nashville medical mart, Dallas-based Market Center Management, has a long way to go. Market Center has said it needs to lease 60 percent of the approximately 1 million square feet of showroom space before it can secure the financing to begin construction of the 11-story mart, and it’s nowhere near close to that number, which raises doubts as to whether the projected 2013 opening date is still realistic.

Nashville has announced five tenants, but Steelcase is the first medical products or technology company that Market Center has landed. The other tenants are a healthcare trade group, a regulatory consulting firm, a Chinese business development group and a local university. The trade group, health IT advocate HIMSS, is another Nashville anchor tenant.

Steelcase’s Nurture brand sells a wide variety of furniture for use in health settings, including cabinets, chairs, carts and workstations. Steelcase launched the brand in 2006. In 2009, Nurture partnered with Mayo Clinic on a research study into how the design of a consultation room can improve the quality of an outpatient visit.

The HCA hospital chain and Vanderbilt University Medical Center are among the company’s local customers, according to The Tennessean.

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“This permanent showroom in Nashville will help us reach an even wider audience with our vision to shape and improve the future of healthcare delivery,” said Kyle Williams, Nurture’s general manager, in a statement.

In contrast to Nashville, the developers behind Cleveland’s medical mart have signed more than 60 prospective tenants to letters of intent (LOIs). The Nashville project’s backers delight in pointing out that those LOIs aren’t legally binding and impose no penalties on companies that back out of them, as two prospective tenants have already indicated they’re likely to do.

Nonetheless, Cleveland looks far likelier to hit its projected opening date — Aug. 31, 2013 — than Nashville. Officials behind both medical mart projects have said the healthcare market is likely sizable enough to only support one of them.