Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 04/01/2009 - 07:02.

More discouraging words about the Medical Mart planned here by MMPI and its use of $1 billion tax dollars – a furniture mart in plan.

Here’s what MedCity News, a publication that deals with “health care as an economic engine of American cities,” says of MMPI’s plans for Cleveland:
“When you try to picture what Cleveland’s Medical Mart will look like – at least at first – think of a Medical Furniture Mart. (Its emphasis on furniture.)
“It’s likely many initial tenants in the permanent showrooms of the proposed medical showplace will feature beds, chairs and floor tiles meant for hospitals, private practices and home health care settings.”
Sounds like a barn-burner hot economic plus for downtown Cleveland – County Commissioner style. Can’t wait for the jobs to roll into the city.
“The bulk of the companies touted as possible initial tenants are similar to Brandrud, a Herman Miller company that makes chairs and cabinets for hospitals or Arc/Com, which makes fabrics and other textiles for the health care industry.”
Hospital curtains, anyone?
They continue: “Supporters of the medical mart concept say furniture is the foundation that can attract and serve many sectors of the health-care market and draw conventioneers. Furniture makers would not only sell their products at the mart, they would lend their products to create mock waiting rooms operating rooms, nurses’ stations or other spaces where medical companies could demonstrate their products during certain conventions.”
Says the article, “But even as the project inches toward reality, it’s hard to envision just what the medical mart would offer in its permanent showrooms. Cutting–edge heart valves or prosthetics? Would electronic medical record firms take up residence?
“Part of the confusion is MMPI’s doing. In public presentations in February in Cleveland, MMPI displayed a list of companies it would consider for its permanent showroom. But then, applying a secretive approach that has earned it the ire of the public, MMPI refused to make the slide show publicly available afterward.”
Forthcoming with the public hasn’t been a trademark of either MMPI or the three stooges – Tim Hagan, Jimmy Dimora and Peter Lawson Jones.
They even confuse Fred Nance.
“It won’t be all furniture,” it quotes Mark Falanga, senior vice president of Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) of Chicago. MMPI would operate the Cleveland mart.
“But generally,” the article continues, “most of the potential tenants make furniture.”
It goes on: “No one has committed to joining the Medical Mart. MMPI has said it will subsidized up to the first 25 companies that commit to space, but it doesn’t expect any commitments until the project is finalized.”
Some companies, the article quotes, say they want “more than a subsidy to join.” More than a subsidy? What? Massages?
Falanga says, “It’s a bit of a crab walk. A showroom will attract trade shows, and trade shows will attract (companies into the showroom). Somewhere, we have to jump in and start all this. I’d say that’s the immediate challenge in front of us all.”
Great! A billion dollar gamble on “a bit of a crab walk!  
What I also want to know is how much of County money is going to be spent to give MMPI a free telephone system, a total computer system and its office furniture at County cost? What frills will be free in the MMPI executive offices here? Will they have an apartment as the Cavs do? Will MMPI be able to use naming rights and keep the revenue? How big and how many restaurants will be County subsidized in the mart? Will Med Mart parties include not only the Mayor, County Commissioners, other County city officials but top editors of the Plain Dealer as free guests?
For the entire MedCity News article go here:


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ever been to Cleveland?

I love looking at architect's renderings. They have this way of cleaning away what is there currently. For example, renderings of what will go in at UCI's Triangle show nothing north of the intersection of Euclid and Ford. I thought, Oh, Hessler and Harkness Chapel, the Dively Building are gone! Oh, my!

In this rendering on the MMPI anointed mall site, the hideous stadium, science center and wind turbine lawn ornament has vanished, too.

Remember that song lyric, "on a clear day, you can see forever"? Well in this rendering, on a clear day, you can see the lake. This rendering looks great to me. It removes Cleveland's ugliest building - the science center. Would this offer an opportunity for access to the Amtrak Train station? Would visitors want to use the train to visit Cleveland. Would cabs line up there at 3am to ferry them to hotels to nap before meetings? So many possibilities! Oh my!

It is interesting that the Cleveland Convention and Facilities Authority site remains online while our commissioners continue to collect the sales tax increase for a convention center (which looks stunningly like a tweaked rendition of the mall site CFA plan) even though the commission was quickly disbanded after the sales tax was issued. You'd think the authorities would have erased this history, eh? Had we proceeded with the CFA, the issue would have had to be on the ballot when all these machinations were public.

But just think of a disneyesque medical tradeshow facility (furniture store replete with what? colostomy equipment?) on our public mall - stunning edifices celebrating massive wealth accumulation on the backs of low wage and later unionized blue collar workers. Now, Burnham's Mall becomes a medical theme park to exalt bellhops, cabbies and servers. For the last century the theme was steel, oil, coatings industries that made us sick. Now we will sport a make 'em well theme - health care. This is shock and awe disaster capitalism replete with the clean slate first act and followed quickly by the economic shock treatment. First we made 'em sick. Now we'll make 'em well. Too late. Our neighborhoods, too, long made sick, will be made well with widespread demolition to clean the slate to make way for green space and gardens and bioswales. OK, who makes money there? I'm just saying that this business of razing what exists is very interesting.

Take a look at the renderings linked by the architects at both the MMPI site and Litt's UCI renderings and note how clean everything is around them. Then ask yourself if you have seen such cleanliness in our town. It seems architects all prefer to live in Second Life rather than to design like you give a damn, starting where you are.

Here's another one for ya: Look familiar?

Check out how green our riverfront is in this rendition. Nice eh? Ever been to Cleveland? From MSN and Grist. Oops! Forgot the Federal Building... I pointed this out at the time. Maybve that's a plan, just draw the city as you would like to see it. Love that photoshop!

It's all a dream. I am hoping that we will wake up sometime soon and begin dealing with reality.



CAD Maddness

Since any kid can make a computer generated rendering we are being subjected to all sorts of cheap, BS "Vapor-plan"... remember what Stark proposed for Public Square... it is so cheap and easy to cut and paste these things together, it makes both the architects and the customers lazy - I hate seeing such incompetent work from well paid professionals... they are lazy. And their work gets in the PD without question...

Disrupt IT

Let's check my mail here....

Let's check my mail here....

Cleveland City Taxes invoice (this year + a year they claim I didn't file x2)

Water Bill (spiked an extra 200 bucks because a meter tech claims they were "late" invoicing people from last summer)

Private high school invoice (getting raped 8 grand a year by the diocese at a school that jailed the bookkeeper for embezzlement)

Numerous county pols and employees "scheduled" to be arrested by the fed's before July 4th...

I wonder what the weather's like in Arizona? Lorain County at the least.