Bill Winsor, president and CEO of Market Center Management Co., says using the old convention center as a base enables the Nashville Medical Trade Center to build out to 1.5 million square feet for just $250 million, including about 1.2 million square feet of new construction on top of the old center. The target for opening is early 2013.
“The foundation is there, literally,” Winsor says. “Our construction costs and timeline are very different from a startup project where you need to do the foundation from scratch.”
The project does not yet have committed financing, but Winsor says he expects it will be financed with a combination of conventional construction loans and partnerships.
The Nashville project is focused on larger, more international suppliers than Cleveland, Winsor says. The attractiveness of Nashville is the built-in customer base of investor-owned company headquarters and the larger cohort of some 350 healthcare companies with either headquarters or significant operations in the region, Winsor says. Beyond that, Market Center Management also has had discussions with not-for-profit systems such as Ascension Health, St. Louis, and Catholic Health East, Newtown Square, Pa., Winsor says.
“I think they're quite different,” Winsor says of the competing projects. “I don't see it as a race.”
Nashville-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center is signed up as a partner for continuing education programs that are hosted off- campus, according to a news release from Market Center Management last month. Last year, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society agreed to make the medical trade center the permanent home of its interoperability showcase, which demonstrates how healthcare IT applications can share patient data across a variety of systems.
“We already have a series of programs that we've lined up,” Winsor says. “That's how you create the animation and the traffic.”