Coupled with the residential and retail portion spearheaded by billionaire investor Tom Gores, the area is expected to make a complete transformation. Gores' team will redevelop HFH's headquarters at One Ford Place into residential, something Riney said was important for the system.
Riney and Detroit Pistons Vice Chairman Arn Tellem said the development is spun from the success of the health system and the Pistons partnering on the Performance Center, which includes a Plum Market and Planet Fitness, they built in 2019. Vacating One Ford Place would harm the Performance Center across the street and the MSU research facility going on its parking lot.
"We definitely didn't want to leave that building (One Ford Place) abandoned," Riney said. "All of a sudden Jupiter aligns with Mars. You've got our needs for the mission, you've got an incredible partnership that we have formed with the Pistons, who share the same values about Detroit and being part of the economic vitality (of the city). And then you bring in the education and research component from Michigan State to the table. All of a sudden you see, boy, 3 times 3 is going to equal 10 or 12."
The legacy hospital's emergency department was also not equipped to handle current demand — Riney said it treats about twice the number of patients it was designed to care for. It's among the busiest of the 10 Level 1 trauma centers operating in the state. The emergency department at the Detroit hospital saw 78,924 patient visits in 2022 and has topped 100,000 in years prior.
The new hospital will host a two-story emergency department capable of serving the needs of Detroiters.
"It was never designed in a way for the future of ED, or the current state of ED services, so the team has done an amazing job handling the capacity at the present time," said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, chief clinical officer for HFH. "But we know both our teams and the community deserve better."
HFH has been amassing property for 10 years across the street from its hospital in hopes of someday constructing a new tower.