UNSATISFIED BY MMPI & KENNEDY

Submitted by Roldo on Thu, 02/12/2009 - 19:26.

With two hours of hearings on the Medical Mart and Convention Center with its proposed operators – MMPI (Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.), I know no more of value than when I got up this morning.

For more than an hour, those in attendance got the sales pitch via typical computer screened version of lists (wine tasting, fine craft shows) of possible visitors, plans one, two, three and more of sites with sketches. Never mind the drawings - that’s all they are, just drawings, we’re warned, not architectural renderings. But the Mall is the best, price-wise.

We have learned nothing more about the, as one Councilman finally got to the Point near the end of the meeting, “The Deal,” which happens to be the most important reason for having MMPI executive Christopher Kennedy and his entourage here. At least that’s what I think.

However, MMPI is great. Just great. MMPI said so. Over and again.

We were told, however, that “Fred will protect the County’s interests.”

Don’t worry about your $1 billion dollar investment. Squire, Sanders & Dempsey have got it covered.

Somehow, that just doesn’t boost my confidence level much as “the Fred” as in Nance stands to make a good amount of money from this deal. After all his firm, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey is a, if not the, biggest bond counsel firm in the state. There will be mucho bonds.

And he already has his hand, foot and brain in this deal.

I didn’t go to the public hearing in the afternoon where MMPI officials – and a single County Commissioner – made the presentation again. You can guess the two commissishs who didn’t show up without my help.

You can take so much bullshot in a day.

MMPI honcho Christopher Kennedy did say a couple of times that Toby Cosgrove, Cleveland Clinic CEO and President, in 2005 called upon MMPI on the medical mart concept. Well, why don’t MMPI and Cleveland Clinic – if this is such a good business – do it together? Why scrounge around for public money.

Kennedy also said that the Clinic has more doctors than all of Boston. He was boostering the Clinic as part of the sales pitch. I found that hard to believe.

By the way, Council President Marty Sweeney figured the time line just about perfectly. None of those who might have some reservations (and are not his friends) about the project – got the chance to question MMPI, including the flip Kennedy. After all, it’s almost taken for granted that MMPI and the County have full access to the city’s Mall property.

When County Commissioners – Tim Hagan, Jimmy Dimora and Peter Lawson Jones – let us know what the Deal is with MMPI it will be too late to do anything.

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