New estimate of Henry Ford-Pistons complex: $83M

Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News

The cost to build the proposed Henry Ford Health System-Detroit Pistons Performance Center is expected to be more than $83 million, according to a city document released Wednesday.

The updated estimate cost is among the new details of the joint venture between the Pistons owner, Palace Sports & Entertainment LLC, and the Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System released by the city’s Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

On Wednesday, the board of the brownfield authority approved $18.7 million in potential tax reimbursements over a 30-year period for the project. The potential tax reimbursements now goes to the Detroit City Council for approval of the project to be paid for by the Pistons and Henry Ford.

The proposed facility is part of the deal to get the Pistons to move downtown next season and play their home games at Little Caesars Arena, slated to open later this year. The arena will also be the home to the Detroit Red Wings.

In addition to playing in the new arena, the Pistons plan to build a separate new practice facility and corporate headquarters in the city’s New Center neighborhood, just north of downtown. That facility would contain a sports medical and office building operated by Henry Ford Health and a new parking structure. The plans also include community space for youth basketball clinics, fitness and nutrition programming, and neighborhood meeting space. The location for the proposed development is an area that’s currently surface parking lots, and one building, used by Henry Ford Health.

Among the new details released Wednesday:

■ The Pistons facility is expected to cost $58 million and team owners will pay for. It will include 128,000 square feet of office space, locker and training rooms, a practice facility, all within a single facility. Ground-floor retail or commercial space may include a team store, restaurant and bank. The Pistons currently play at the Palace at Auburn Hills.

■The Henry Ford Health portion of the development would cost about $10 million, which will be paid for by the health system. It covers 25,000 square feet and contains office space and a sports medicine program that will include a diagnostic services and MRI imaging. A full-service treatment and rehabilitation facility are also planned.

■The proposed 400-space parking structure would cost $15 million and be jointly owned and operated by Henry Ford and Palace Sports & Entertainment.

■ The $18.7 million in potential tax reimbursements is based on any increased value of the land. It’s a safe assumption the property will rise in value considering the site is now mainly surface parking. The reimbursement would come from a portion of taxes collected from the future development. A tax reimbursement based on “brownfield development” refers to the extra costs a developer has to pay to clean up and build on a property that’s had previous development on it.

The goal is to begin construction of the facility this summer.

Twitter: @LouisAguilar_DN