Developer ends Nashville Medical Trade Center project - WSMV Channel 4

Developer ends Nashville Medical Trade Center project

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Developers have pulled the plug on a major project planned for downtown Nashville.

A 12-story medical trade center was set to go in the old Convention Center space, attracting thousands from across the world. But now it's not happening, forcing the city to come up with another option.

The project had been in the works for about three years and was supposed to bring 2,000 jobs.

Thursday's announcement all boils down to leasing. Developers were having trouble filling the space, so city leaders will have to go back to square one.

"Disappointment first of all, but not total shock," said Councilman Charlie Tygard. "They'd been marketing for a long time, and when you don't have a lot of success initially then you start to question whether the project was ever going to happen."

In a statement, Dallas-based developer Bill Winsor pointed to the sluggish economy, health care policy uncertainty and immediate pressures on revenue as reasons for canceling the project.

Former Councilman Michael Craddock was a critic of the medical mart and says two years ago Mayor Karl Dean touted it as sure bet for the old convention center space in order to get the new one approved.

"This medical mart was just one more tool in the mayor's toolbox to use to convince us to vote for this," Craddock said.

The mayor issued a statement saying the medical mart in a healthcare hub like Nashville made a lot of sense and said, while he's disappointed it's not moving forward, he understands the challenges that made the project difficult.

Dean also said the old convention space remains a desirable piece of property generating a lot of interest, and the city will put it to good use.

It is important to point out this was a $250 million project being funded mainly with private investments.

The mayor's office says no incentives were offered, so the city isn't out any money.

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