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Nashville medical mart is still alive, planning for 2014 opening

The property developers behind the Nashville, Tennessee medical mart say the project is still moving forward and planning on a 2014 opening. An official with the project told Nashville’s WKRN-TV that about 40 percent of the anticipated space in the Nashville Medical Trade Center was either leased or in the final stages of leasing. Project […]

The property developers behind the Nashville, Tennessee medical mart say the project is still moving forward and planning on a 2014 opening.

An official with the project told Nashville’s WKRN-TV that about 40 percent of the anticipated space in the Nashville Medical Trade Center was either leased or in the final stages of leasing. Project backers need signed leases covering about 60 percent of the space before they can secure the financing to begin construction.

Cleveland Scene reported last week that the Nashville project was dead, but a Nashville spokesman denied it at the time. The latest TV interview by David Osborn, general manager for the Nashville medical mart, was likely aimed at squelching that rumor.

Aside from Osborn’s claim that stories of the Nashville medical mart’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, we haven’t heard much from Nashville in recent months. The project hasn’t announced any new tenants since August, when it said Nashville-based clinical services provider SpecialtyCare would take space in the mart.

Leaders behind the Nashville project have been promising for what seems like forever that they’re in the final stages of negotiating leases with little progress to show for all that talk, so any promises of “moving forward” need to be taken with several grains of salt.

Osborn again attempted shoot down comparisons between plans for Nashville’s medical mart and a similar project in Cleveland, as officials from both projects have generally sought to do.

“The two projects are very different,” he told WKRN.  “They’re different in size. Ours is about 11 times the size of the Cleveland medical mart.  Theirs, in our opinion, is going to be more of a regional buying office for that part of the country.  Ours is really going to be the only international comprehensive trade center for the healthcare industry.”

Thanks to public financing, construction of the Cleveland medical mart started more than a year ago. It’s slated to open in mid- to late 2013.

Nashville had also been planning to open its medical mart in 2013, but was forced late last year to publicly admit that that wasn’t going to happen. Leasing space in the Nashville medical mart has gone more slowly than anticipated, not to mention more slowly than anyone associated with the project would’ve liked, to say the least.