Now that the county has inked the deal with MMPI, what will happen next?
The county still has to buy the current convention center from the city. MMPI and the county will negotiate some more over the next year, fleshing out the deal in further agreements about finances, leases, construction and design. MMPI will start trying to sign medical manufacturers and conventions. It has a year to lease five showrooms and book ten conferences or shows. If all that happens, construction probably starts next spring. It'll take three years, though MMPI may book shows into a renovated Public Hall starting in 2011.
Questions to watch: How many manufacturers and shows will MMPI book, and what kind? How much attention will they devote to non-medical conventions? Will negotiations with the county go smoothly, or will sticking points and surprises come up? What will be the second stream of money to fund the project besides the sales tax, if any? If it's the hotel tax, what happens to Positively Cleveland?