Henry Ford Health Partners with Detroit Pistons and MSU on $2.5B Expansion

Henry Ford Health, Tom Gores and the Detroit Pistons, and Michigan State University plan to invest $2.5 billion over the next decade to turn Detroit’s New Center neighborhood into a vibrant, walkable community with state-of-the-art residential, commercial, retail, recreational, and health care components.
A rendering of the planned walkable community in Detroit's New Center neighborhood. // Courtesy of Henry Ford Health
A rendering of the planned walkable community in Detroit’s New Center neighborhood. // Courtesy of Henry Ford Health

Henry Ford Health, Tom Gores and the Detroit Pistons, and Michigan State University plan to invest $2.5 billion over the next decade to turn Detroit’s New Center neighborhood into a vibrant, walkable community with state-of-the-art residential, commercial, retail, recreational, and health care components.

The development will be anchored by a reimagined Henry Ford Health academic health care campus, the highlight of which is a major expansion of Henry Ford Hospital including a brand new 1-million-square-foot plus facility and patient tower.

It also includes a new, cutting-edge medical research facility for Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences, part of Henry Ford Health’s 30-year partnership with the university.

The plan includes a significant expansion of the partnership between Henry Ford Health and Gores and the Detroit Pistons, which co-developed a $137 million facility in 2019 that relocated the Pistons franchise back to Detroit and into the new Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center and Center for Athletic Medicine on Second Avenue adjacent to New Center.

“When we acquired the Pistons more than a decade ago, our vision was larger than simply owning an NBA basketball franchise,” says Gores. “I viewed this from the start as a ‘community asset’ that was uniquely positioned to participate in the continuing reinvention of Detroit and to be impactful in the lives of its residents.

“Our plan in Detroit has focused on bringing people and organizations together and creating meaningful partnerships that accelerate growth, create opportunity and contribute to the revitalization of the city. We are uniquely positioned and fortunate to have our partners at Henry Ford Health support the reimagination of our shared neighborhood, which will create jobs and housing for a new generation of Detroiters.”

Robert G. Riney, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health, says the power of partnership is vital in redefining and rebuilding neighborhoods across Detroit.

“The reimagination of our health care campus in Detroit has been a long-held vision for us and we’ve taken exceptional pride in challenging ourselves — a quest to discover what’s truly possible alongside our partners,” says Riney. “We’ve welcomed Tom Gores’ ‘big thinking’ approach since the very start of our partnership.

“He’s a great catalyst in stretching people’s expectations and aspirations, and has really helped us drive a common mission and vision that will help us create something truly transformative for our patients and families, our communities, as well as the best team in health care.”

Riney adds the hospital component alone will represent the largest single health care investment in the city of Detroit in the health system’s history. The goal is to create a unique destination to live, work, and play in a community that supports tomorrow’s health care advances, drives economic growth and inclusion, and provides a new welcoming and accessible urban environment.

“Like all major U.S. cities, our great city of Detroit deserves a premier academic medical center and destination for the most advanced care, research, and education,” Riney says. “As an anchor institution that’s been committed to building strong, healthy communities for more than a century, we know we can deliver on that promise (and) double down on our commitment to being relentless advocates for those we serve.

“That includes not only charting a path to lead the health care of tomorrow, but also working alongside our partners to create vibrant and thriving neighborhoods, foster opportunities for growth and success, and remove barriers to wellness, particularly in our underserved populations.”

Mayor Mike Duggan praised the vision and investment of three like-minded institutions focused on the impacting the community and driving economic growth.

“Detroit is seeing more investment, construction, and job growth than it has in a half century and today’s announcement of this $2.5 billion development takes things to a new level,” says  Duggan. “This partnership between Henry Ford Health, the Pistons, and Michigan State University represents an incredible investment in our city. Detroiters will have not only a new state-of-the-art hospital and medical research facility, but also more opportunities to live, work and play, right here in this neighborhood.”

The partners plan to bring connectivity between Henry Ford’s hospital footprint north and south of West Grand Boulevard and transform the section of New Center which currently houses the headquarters for both Henry Ford Health and the Detroit Pistons — an area south of West Grand Boulevard, north of I-94, east of M-10/The Lodge, and west of Second Avenue — into a walkable, connected community infused with innovative mixed-income living spaces, retail and dining options, and green space.

Already an essential safety-net hospital for the surrounding community as well as national destination for complex and specialty care for more than a century, an expanded, revitalized Henry Ford Hospital with advanced technology, modernized infrastructure, and revolutionized care and healing environments is critical to ensuring the health system will be able to serve a growing number of patients.

With plans to operate on both sides of West Grand Boulevard, the new structure and patient tower will be located on the south side of the boulevard across from Henry Ford Hospital. It will have all private patient rooms with dedicated spaces for care teams, families, and visitors; technology upgrades to help teams provide seamless care; along with focused comfort and convenience for patients and families during their stay.

Many higher acuity services will transfer to the new building, including an expanded emergency department with universal rooms and specialized space for trauma and behavioral health care; state-of-the-art acute and intensive care units, technically advanced operating suites, cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs, diagnostic and interventional radiology, and other interventional procedures space.

“We have assembled an amazing team of nurses and physicians, patient and family advisors, operational and technology leaders, consumer experience experts and others to carefully and thoughtfully design every inch of this state-of-the-art facility with wellbeing at the center,” says Dr. Adnan Munkarah, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Henry Ford Health.

“Not only will this expanded hospital allow us to advance personalized medicine through a combination of tomorrow’s technology with a human touch; it will also enable new levels of life-changing clinical care, research, discovery, and innovation — giving our patients the hope and breakthroughs they need in real time.”

In addition to the new building, Henry Ford Health plans to integrate and connect its Detroit facilities through a series of tunnels, bridges, and walkways to ensure seamless travel, as well as infuse inviting green space. With Henry Ford Health’s board expected to approve the plan later this month, the health system plans to break ground in 2024 and will release more details as plans are finalized.

With a groundbreaking also planned for 2024, the joint research facility previously announced by Henry Ford Health + Michigan State University Health Sciences will be constructed south of the new hospital facility — along Third Street, across from the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center and Henry Ford’s One Ford Place administrative building.

The new facility will align basic and translational research, fueling innovation and discovery through an academically and clinically integrated partnership of doctors, nurses, scientists, academics, and public health practitioners.

“Together, our organizations have the collective knowledge, skills and drive to usher in a new era of medical education and research excellence,” says Teresa K. Woodruff, interim president of Michigan State University. “By joining forces and building on our rich academic and medical heritages, we are truly poised to transform the way in which people receive and experience health care.”

Launched in 2021, the partners are aligning National Institutes of Health-funded research and expanding medical education. In 2022, the partners announced they funded nearly $1 million in cancer research grants, with 40 percent of initiatives addressing disparities in cancer outcomes.

The joint research facility will be located within the proposed development area. A multi-phase, multi-year vision, the plan preserves the neighborhood’s rich history while infusing innovative solutions to address the future of health care in Detroit and extends throughout the West Grand Boulevard corridor and Henry Ford Health and the Detroit Pistons’ New Center footprint. Plans include:

  • Residential development with market-rate and affordable housing, which will include the eventual transformation of the current One Ford Place building
  • Publicly accessible retail space and possibly a hotel
  • A multi-story parking deck
  • Centralized community park and green space areas with outside basketball courts across Amsterdam Street to the south of the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center

The proposed site advancements will provide continued expansion of New Center into a vibrant and dynamic urban neighborhood, increasing lifestyle and entertainment amenities while creating programmable opportunities for both organizations and Detroiters alike.

Henry Ford Health and the Detroit Pistons are in the beginning stages of engaging stakeholders from the community to solicit feedback on the proposed transformative future development vision that will build upon the successful development of the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center, which opened in 2019.   The publicly accessible center provides a series of community benefits, including Henry Ford’s state-of-the-art Center for Athletic Medicine and neighborhood retail amenities Planet Fitness and Plum Market.

Similar to the conception and execution of that project, the parties seek to incorporate guidance from the community to ensure that the overall vision of the new development vision reflects and supports evolving local priorities. Both believers in building strong private-public partnerships, Riney and Gores view new development around their shared campus as an exciting new chapter for Detroit.

“Tom and I and our organizations strongly believe in the importance of engaging the communities we serve and look forward to sharing our vision for this transformative development in New Center and forming an inclusive dialogue with our neighbors that promotes collaboration and an exciting outcome for all of us,” Riney says.

Henry Ford Health provides a full continuum of services, from primary and preventative care, to complex and specialty care, health insurance, a full suite of home health offerings, virtual care, pharmacy, eye care, and other health care retail.

Consistently ranked among the top five NIH-funded institutions in Michigan, Henry Ford Health engages in more than 2,000 research projects annually. Equally committed to educating the next generation of health professionals, Henry Ford Health trains more than 4,000 medical students, residents and fellows every year across 50+ accredited programs.

With more than 33,000 employees, Henry Ford Health is also among Michigan’s largest and most diverse employers, including nearly 6,000 physicians and researchers from the Henry Ford Medical Group, Henry Ford Physician Network, and Jackson Health Network.

A year ago, DBusiness reported on the coming changes to Henry Ford Health campus in Detroit. For more information, visit here.