NEW YORK, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- World Product Centre LLC today announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Gary Barnett's Extell Development Company to occupy a specially designed 1 million square foot building that Extell will construct to WPC's specifications at the former site of the Copacabana nightclub at 11th Avenue and West 34th Street. If all goes as planned, construction for the building will commence at the beginning of 2009 and be completed by 2012, WPC said. The agreement gives major impetus -- and adds Mr. Barnett, one of the city's most active real estate developers -- to an ambitious project aimed at making New York City the prime center of commerce and innovation for the $260 billion global market for medical devices and diagnostics. The World Product Centre is designed from the ground up to reflect the real-world needs of today's doctors, hospital administrators and purchasing agents in sourcing, selecting and integrating the latest advances in medical technology into their patient care facilities-bringing together under one roof the world's leading manufacturers of sophisticated and innovative medical devices, diagnostics, equipment and supporting systems. The letter of intent is a key component of the project because it allows WPC to begin signing lease/licensing agreements with medical device manufacturers around the world to establish their presence in the unique facility, where the healthcare community will for the first time be able to see, test and determine the interoperability of a complete range of medical equipment, across all specialties, in one place, at any time. All these activities, learning opportunities and business transactions will be facilitated by cutting edge computer technology designed by Hewlett Packard, making the entire experience user-friendly and seamless. "This is a major step forward for the World Product Center as the players in the medical equipment industry now know exactly where our facility will be and can sign on to be a part of this exciting new concept," said Israel Green, the entrepreneur behind the visionary project and chairman and president of WPC. "This is a tremendous opportunity for manufacturers to reach their prime target audience exactly when they are the most receptive and focused on sourcing and learning, all in a customized environment that is specifically designed for demonstration and education." WPC will rise on a prime site in west midtown as a major presence in an area that is experiencing a huge redevelopment boom from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River. Across the street from the soon-to-be expanded Javits Convention Center and adjacent to a planned subway station, the site is located on the corner of 11th Avenue and 34th Street and is best known as the former home of the Copacabana nightclub. "Extell is excited to join the WPC team to develop the building that will house this very important and visionary concept," said Mr. Barnett, chief executive officer of Extell. "It fits in very well with the innovative, exciting dynamic that is occurring in west midtown and will be a welcome addition to a neighborhood that is on its way to becoming one of the most active and robust commercial centers in the city. With this location and the planned amenities, the building can truly serve as a beacon for the healthcare industry and be a key element in fulfilling WPC's mission." WPC will have a major economic impact. It will bring tens of thousands of doctors, hospital administrators and purchasers annually to New York City to learn about, interact with and buy the world's most sophisticated medical equipment. Annually, the general public, broader healthcare community and the medical industry bring approximately 3 million visitors to New York City, which will enhance and support visitors to the World Product Centre. In addition to medical device makers and ancillary support providers who will mount as many as 2000 permanent displays and demonstrations of their equipment, the visitors will be attracted by numerous educational and scientific meetings, as well as ongoing initiatives aimed at improving connectivity within the health care system and better disseminating medical technology around the world. Today's announcement is the latest in a series of milestones that have moved the project forward over the past few years as Mr. Green has tirelessly promoted the concept and enlisted the support of a number of key participants. Medical associations and foundations representing some of the most device- driven specialties have expressed support for WPC and its mission. "We have had extensive conversations with many doctors and hospitals and they love the idea of improving the process by which they equip their facilities," said Mr. Green. "Their support will drive this new business model and make it successful."
SOURCE World Product Centre LLC