Cleveland.com's Mark Naymik wrote a nice slideshow this morning
on the Med Mart, which is now known as the Global Center for Health Innovation. The resident columnist and taxpayer watchdog explained, for the most part, what was happening at the multi-million dollar facility that was originally born as a medical mart. It has since evolved into a building with a wide array of tenants and serves as a physical location for events ranging from proms to speeches to yoga classes.
One question left unanswered was how much those tenants are paying for the space. It's a good one. After all, taxpayers spent a boatload of money ($465 million) on the 235,000-square-foot building and they deserve to know the economic realities of what they built.
As Naymik writes, "The convention company denied a request by cleveland.com to identify the percentage of tenants paying below-market rates and the percentage paying zip."
That information, in detail, was provided to Scene
. One thing to note: As stated at the bottom of the document below, all rates have annual increases and thus rates for 2016 might look different. But as to the question of how many tenants pay zero? The answer is two: BioEnterprise and Smartshape.
Overall, Naymik reports, the Global Center is not performing as some had hoped it would.
The Global Center earned $621,000 from leases in 2015, falling 30 percent short of its $891,000 budgeted goal, according to the Global Center’s income statement provided by the convention corporation. In 2014, it earned $360,000 in lease payments, 48 percent below the nearly $700,000 it had budgeted.
The Global Center’s manager, Philadelphia-based SMG, recently requested bids from real estate firms to help fill the building with paying tenants. County taxpayers will pick up the cost of hiring the firm.
In 2016, the Global Center hopes to earn more than $1 million from leases, according budget documents.
To its credit, the convention corporation has been demanding a more detailed breakdown between operations at the Global Center and convention space. This is giving the public more insight into how the two separate operations work.