Leaders had high hopes for the complex. Kennedy of MMPI (which the county parted ways with in 2013) said the project would transform Cleveland into a “Disney World for doctors.” In 2013, ahead of the complex’s opening, local tourist destinations looked for ways to take advantage of what they expected to be a hefty surge in out-of-town traffic.
But ultimately, the center has had difficulty finding its niche.
The mid-2000s idea of a place for individuals to shop as they outfitted a hospital didn’t ultimately resonate in the marketplace. As leasing wasn’t living up to expectations in 2013, leaders began rethinking the concept. Rather than a collection of showrooms for sellers of medical and health care equipment, the plan was to offer a space where, collaboratively or independently, health care companies, hospital administrators, physicians and other providers could see products in a working environment.
In 2017, BioEnterprise Corp., the nonprofit health care and bioscience business accelerator, took control of the Global Center for Health Innovation.
In the years since, the Global Center secured new startup tenants and initially extended the lease of HIMSS, but ultimately lost the anchor tenant.
County Executive Armond Budish said in 2017 that the takeover was designed to turn around a building that floundered as it searched for a successful identity that would complement the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. But BioEnterprise ended its role as manager of the center last year. Following the departure of HIMSS and BioEnterprise, the development corporation overseeing Global Center operations announced in November it would solicit proposals for the “best and highest use” of the space going forward, cleveland.com reported.
In May, George Hillow, executive director of the Convention Facilities Development Corp., told cleveland.com that a preliminary review by consultants concluded at least some space at the taxpayer-funded Global Center should serve as an extension of the convention center, but the pandemic has changed considerations for its future.