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Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center

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Cleveland has held the title of America’s “Medical Capital” for some time now. In 2013, the city will unveil its own healthcare Pentagon to the international medical industry. “The largest benefit of being in the Cleveland area is that Northeast Ohio has the largest concentration of medical leadership in the United States,” says Brian Casey, vice president and general manager of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., the private sector partner of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on this project.

“We’re building a state-of-the-art facility that will offer connectivity in and around the convention center and medical mart, as well as with facilities around the Cleveland area and the rest of the world. At a base level, this facility will support our strategy to deliver best-in-class training and education to the healthcare community.”

Construction is under way on the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center, which, once completed, will be a state-of-the-art healthcare industry education and training center, attracting the nation’s leading medical societies and association meetings to a facility located within close proximity to the nation’s leading healthcare providers. The attached Medical Mart will provide the industry’s leading manufacturers with a platform for showcasing medical innovation and technology in the heart of the nation’s medical capital.

The complex will include a 235,000-square-foot, four-story medical mart and an adjacent convention center with 230,000 square feet of Class A exhibition hall space with 30-foot ceilings and 90-foot spacing between columns.

The trade show facility is designed to suit the needs of medical trade shows and conventions and will be able to host simultaneous events and can be paired with ongoing conferences.

The conference center also will house approximately 60,000 square feet of high-tech, flexible meeting rooms of various sizes to accommodate keynote sessions, seminars and panel discussions, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom and an 11,000-square-foot junior ballroom.

Turner Construction is serving as the design/builder for the $465 million project, which broke ground in January 2011. Completion is scheduled for August 2013, and the project is currently aiming for LEED Silver certification.

First of its Kind

As the first medical mart, Casey says finding models to emulate for the Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center simply didn’t exist. Designers began by reviewing existing marts that cater to different industries, then tweaking their vision for a healthcare-driven facility.

“Other than your typical Mart model, a commercial facility with a focus on the medical and healthcare industry simply did not exist,” Casey says.

For instance, among the many features in the mart portion of the complex will be a variety of laboratories where healthcare providers can watch live demonstrations of new products and techniques. Casey says the mart will feature a variety of simulation, wet and/or dry laboratory settings for medical professionals.

“You really can’t find those types of characteristics or capabilities in current convention centers or marts,” Casey says. “It will become one of the key differentiators of this mart for medical groups around the country and throughout the world.”

Recycling is Key

Before getting started on the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center, Turner Construction had to oversee the demolition of the existing convention center. Cuyahoga County purchased the land, which then required eight months’ worth of demolition to remove six buildings that created more than 200,000 tons of debris.

As part of its LEED-certification plan, the construction team saved 98.6 percent of the materials from the demolition for recycling on the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center and other construction jobs in the area.

Saving other contractors thousands of dollars in building materials costs isn’t the only economic boon the city of Cleveland will experience from this endeavor. Casey says the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center is projected to create thousands of full-time jobs, revitalize the hospitality and entertainment industry, attract hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars.

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