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NEW YORK CITY-The developers of the forthcoming World Product Centre, a 60-story medical mart planned for Manhattan’s Far West Side, have lined up Cardinal Health and 10 other healthcare suppliers as their first “charter partners.” As GlobeSt.com reported last November, the 1.5-million-square-foot WPC is intended as an international, multi-purpose trade center where healthcare providers and vendors can interact. It’s being developed by a partnership of the Greater New York Hospital Assoc. and Extell Development Corp.

Joining Cardinal, an $87-billion manufacturer and distributor of healthcare products, at WPC will be Zimmer, Inc., Encompass Group and private equity partnership Roundtable Healthcare Partners and the seven portfolio companies that comprise it. In a release, John Strong, president of WPC Marketing, says the new tenants are “at the forefront of the healthcare industry and we are looking forward to introducing more charter industry and education partners in the coming months.”

In the planning stages for years, WPC will be built on the site of the former Copacabana nightclub at 555 W. 33rd St., near the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center. Michael Resnick, EVP of WPC, notes in a release that the New York metro area offers “many benefits” for international companies looking to create or expand their US presence.

“With 480 acute care facilities within 300 miles, half of all US teaching hospitals located in the region, and a high density of practicing physicians and other clinicians in this area, leveraging WPC for regional, and ultimately national, sales and marketing activities offers enormous opportunity,” Resnick asserts. “Not to mention that half-a-billion business visitors and tourists are expected to visit New York City across the next decade.”

A WPC spokesman declines to divulge the per-square-foot dollar amount tenants will pay for space at the WPC. He notes that the pricing structure is different from the standard format for establishing office rents, because each tenant will have access to common areas and amenities in addition to their exhibit space.

Last November, GNYHA president Lee Perlman told GlobeSt.com that while the complex will serve as a trade mart for medical service companies from around the world to showcase new products, “it will also be a place to demonstrate new services, a center where innovations are announced and, being that this is New York, a place where financial markets can intersect with some of the largest companies they serve.” Perlman added that the WPC group intends to sign tenants to long-term leases, then go to prospective construction lenders with the message, “listen, we have 200 great companies, they’re all credit worthy and they are all going to pay rent.”

Excavation on WPC is slated to begin this fall, with construction scheduled to start next year and be completed by late 2013, according to a release. Extell has another product-showcase project in the works: the 34-story International Gem Tower in Manhattan’s Diamond District.

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