Cuyahoga commissioners OK convention center-medical mart deal
CLEVELAND, March 20, 2008 (AP): A new convention center in Cleveland will be run by Chicago-based Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. for at least 20 years.
Cuyahoga County’s commissioners Thursday voted to approve a memorandum of understanding that sets terms of the deal, which includes development of a convention center and also a medical mart dedicated medical products and trade shows.
MMPI will get the revenue, but will also be responsible for capital improvements. It has committed $20 million toward the project.
The county, which favors a downtown Cleveland location for the project, plans to sell naming rights and will keep those proceeds.
Commissioners passed a countywide quarter percent sales tax increase that went into effect in October to pay for $400 million in project costs.
The county will pay at least $103 million over 20 years to MMPI to run the facility and bring in users.
The present Cleveland Convention Center is owned by the city. Renovating the existing center is a possibility.
MMPI produces more than 300 trade and consumer shows, conventions, conferences, educational programs and other special events annually.
On the Net: Cuyahoga County commissioners: http://bocc.cuyahogacounty.us/