Plans to build a $500 million merchandise mart and convention center in Cleveland advanced last week when Cuyahoga County commissioners announced a specific site for the complex.
Commissioners said the new center and medical merchandise mart would be built in downtown Cleveland, replacing the existing underground convention center that is nearly a century old. The decision was made in part due to lower estimated costs on the part of Chicago-based Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., which will build and manage the property.
Most of the project will be financed with a 0.25% sales tax increase that the county approved last year. The tax hike is estimated to bring in around $490 million, as of last year’s estimates. The increase pushed Cuyahoga County’s sales tax to 7.75% from 7.5%.
The complex will include a new convention center and an adjacent mart that will feature medical merchandise. The location is not final until the county conducts a final engineering study to estimate costs, according to local reports.