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Medical Mart: Downtown project picking up steam

7:39 AM, Apr 4, 2007   |    comments
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Cuyahoga County Commissioners are trying to combine a new convention center with a Medical Mart. The Medical Mart would be a giant supermarket to display the latest in medical technology and could draw visitors and groups from around the world, modeled after the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Robert Kennedy and a friend of Commissioner Tim Hagan lead a team for the project making a pitch Tuesday to the Plain Dealer. The group wants to come to Cleveland because of the strong medical community lead by the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital systems. Commissioners hope to pay for a convention center with with an imposed hike in the sales tax or possible funds from other tax sources. Commissioner Tim Hagan puts the odds of this happening at 90 percent. The crunch issue now, getting private dollars to pay for the Medical Mart. Forest City's in line to be the developer. The Medical Mart would be in the old Dillard's on Public Square. The Convention Center would go on the Forest City preferred site behind Tower City. Forest City Co-Chairman Sam Miller predicts this will happen. Commissioners have hired former Attorney General and Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jim Petro to oversee the project much like Tom Chema ramrodded Gateway. Click on "Play Video" to see Tom Beres' report.

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