The Weekender: $2.5 billion Henry Ford development in Detroit + 23 things to know around town
The best place to catch up on what you might have missed around Metro Detroit this week
Hello and welcome to the weekend! ICYMI, there’s been a lot happening around town. Let’s spend a few minutes together and catch up.
If this is your first time here, my analysis is in italics.
📰 What to know
» Henry Ford Health, the Detroit Pistons, and Michigan State University are partnering to develop a $2.5 billion project in Detroit at West Grand Boulevard and the Lodge, anchored by a $1.8 billion hospital.
Over the next decade, the project aims to transform the area around the century-old Henry Ford Hospital into what hospital officials call a “destination for the most advanced care, research and education,” It will include commercial, residential, and possibly, maybe, hotel spaces.
The new hospital tower will replace the tired HAP building at West Grand and the Lodge. It would have all private rooms and a larger emergency department. Plus, it’d be connected to the existing hospital through a network of skywalks and tunnels.
Now, before you think that sounds too fancy — remember this is a hospital development. Many of the buildings need to connect in all weather, whether it’s for patients, getting materials around, all of that.
Tom Gores and his team will develop the old Burroughs HQ — now One Ford Place — into a 610,000 sq. foot residential complex, and also build a new mixed-use residential and retail complex. Thankfully, according to renderings, the sea of parking next to that will be redone into something much more practical and a better use of space.
If you’re into history, One Ford Place is kinda secretly an Albert Kahn building. Although it looks modern, it dates to 1904. [Wayfinding]
The project also includes about two acres of dedicated green space, basketball courts, and a research facility with Michigan State University. That facility will focus on cancer, neuroscience, women's health, imaging, and public health.
Henry Ford Health says, when they get their board approval, they intend to get going in 2024. [Urbanize Detroit] [Henry Ford] [Press Conference]
This one just hasn’t gotten as much traction online as other projects like Little Caesars Arena, even though it may have just as big of an impact. Why? After all, you don’t really do surgeries working from home. We discuss that and more on the Friday podcast.
» In the Macomb County mega-suburb of Warren, Mayor Jim Fouts has filed to seek a fifth term in office. But can he run?
Although controversial outside of the city of nearly 140,000 people, he handily won election with nearly 58 percent of the vote last time.
Residents tell me it’s because if you have an issue, you can pick up the phone and literally call him.
Fouts and city council have battled often in recent years, and there will be a number of challengers.
Warren is also dealing with issues between its northern and southern halves, as some — and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’ve heard it myself a number of times — now treat 696 as the new 8 Mile.
Three candidates other than Fouts are in the race.
The question is — with term limits put in place after the last election, can Fouts run again?
It was reported a couple years ago that voters approved a city charter amendment to say that the mayor can only serve three four year terms, or 12 years; and that it prevents Fouts from doing this.
Fouts says he has a legal opinion that disputes that and it starts after the measure was passed. But councilman and mayoral candidate Ronald Papandrea is challenging this and it’s going to go before a court. [Macomb Daily] [Detroit News]
Buckle up for more democracy drama in Michigan’s third-largest city.
» Malaysian money mystery? Remember when we told you about the Detroit Public Library missing hundreds of thousands of dollars? Turns out employees – and the people of Detroit — were victims of a wire fraud scam. [ClickOnDetroit]
» Trailways Transportation System has announced a new bus route that will allow people to ride from Detroit to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the first time since 2021. The first trips depart Wednesday, April 5. [Trailways]
» Ferndale is literally rising, as they and nearby communities are building more multistory buildings and adding population density. Robin Runyan from Urbanize Detroit talked about some of those projects, as well as a massive hotel going into the Detroit riverfront next to Huntington Place.
» Tennessee Knox County law enforcement are working to bust a drug pipeline from Detroit. Under their “313 Initiative,” law enforcement partners are trying to stop this alleged trafficking from Detroit to West Virginia, Kentucky, and East Tennessee that has been going on since 2015. [CBS Detroit]
» The Detroit Land Bank Authority will repay the federal government $1.5 million. This repayment will close the 2019 investigation that found out about $13 million in federal payments were for unverified costs. [Detroit News]
» Bedrock has missed a deadline for completing the new Wayne County Criminal Justice Center. The jail and courthouse complex is currently $75 M over budget, most of which Bedrock is responsible for. [Free Press]
» The operator of the Culver’s restaurant in Wixom has to pay $13,212 in civil penalties for violating child labor laws. [Click on Detroit]
» The mortgage wars between Rocket and UWM escalate again. Rocket Pro TPO is offering to cover the ultimatum penalties and court fees for mortgage brokers wanting to get out of an employment contract with United Wholesale Mortgage. [National Mortgage Professional]
» Dearborn Heights will have community forums on Wednesday, February 15 for input on how to spend funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. There will be one meeting in the morning at Dearborn Heights City Hall and another in the evening at the Dearborn Heights Justice Center. [Press and Guide]
» The Downriver Linked Greenways received a grant for improvements. I talked with Mary Bohling to see how it’ll improve things for the 130,000 people it serves.
» Podcast host and daughter of Eminem Hailie Jade Mathers recently got engaged to long-time boyfriend Evan McClintock in downtown Detroit. [Hailie's Instagram post]
» What will the 2023 Detroit City FC team look like? Fletcher Sharpe has the inside track on the trialists that should be fan favorites.
🍔 Food news bites
» On our Thursday episode we talked about a bunch of places we’ve tried. Highlights include the new HopCat in downtown Royal Oak; The Key West-inspired Eastern Palace Club in Hazel Park; an old favorite in LJ’s in Corktown; Noorjahan in Grosse Pointe Park; and Taqueria Los Charros in Lincoln Park.
» Sidecar Slider Bar and Shift Kitchen & Cocktails are opening in the former Marais location in Grosse Pointe. Downtown Grosse Pointe’s Facebook account announced that a lease had been signed, but no opening date was included. [Downtown Grosse Pointe's Facebook post]
» Detroit Institute of Bagels will re-open Thursday, February 16. The bagel shop has taken over the former Ochre Bakery location in Detroit’s Core City Neighborhood. Ochre Bakery closed in May 2022. [Metro Times]
Man, I loved Ochre. I really, really did. But am excited for the return of DIB.
» Motz’s Burgers is opening a location in Redford during this spring, at Plymouth and Inkster roads. [Motz's Burgers Instagram post]
» Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters is constructing a new headquarters and cafe location in Ferndale, per their post on Instagram. [Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters Instagram post]
» In Detroit’s West Village, Belle Isle Pizza re-opened this week under the new ownership of John Kwiatkowski. The carryout spot closed in early January for maintenance. Kwiatkowski has experience running three of the Detroit Optimist Society’s properties. [Belle Isle Pizza Facebook post] [Eater Detroit]
» A witchcraft-themed cocktail bar named Black Salt is opening on Friday, March 3 from 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. in Hamtramck. [Black Salt's Instagram post]
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🏙 Things to do around town
» WXYZ has curated a list of events in Metro Detroit celebrating Black History Month. [WXYZ Detroit]
» The DIA is having drop-in workshops for crafting pin-back buttons. They’re on Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12 from 12p - 4p. [Detroit Institute of Arts]
» Casual networking social for information technology professionals in the Metro Detroit area with IT in the D. “No agenda. No speakers. No cover charge. Ever. Just networking with IT professionals. Plain and simple.” It’s at Urbanrest in Ferndale on Feb. 16 starting at 5p. [Meetup]
Thanks to Luciano Marcon for his help on this newsletter.
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Until next week, remember that you are somebody — and I’ll see you around town.
This edition of the newsletter was written to “So This Is for You” by Marvel83’