Henry Ford to open Royal Oak outpatient facility in civic center

Breana Noble
The Detroit News
A rendering of the Henry Ford Health System's planned outpatient medical center in downtown Royal Oak's new civic center.

Henry Ford Health System said Wednesday it plans to open a new outpatient medical center in downtown Royal Oak.

The six-hospital health system plans to take over as the sole tenant of a six-story, 145,000-square-foot building. It is part of the $110 million civic center development designed and built by Lansing-based Boji Group. Henry Ford expects to open the medical center that could serve thousands annually in mid-2020.

"We really want to partner with our patients with their health and wellness, and not just see them when they are severely ill," said Bob Riney, Henry Ford's president of health care operations and chief operating officer. "This will be a convenient, state-of-the-art ambulatory center where they will be able to get most of their care under one roof."

The medical center would employ more than 200 physicians, nurses and support staff members. About a dozen current employees would move into the facility from a current 8,400-square-foot Royal Oak location at 26300 Woodward Ave. The health system is evaluating future options for that site.

The new outpatient center would provide services for outpatient surgery, pediatrics, primary care, radiology, rehabilitation, sports medicine and women's health. A walk-in clinic, Henry Ford OptimEyes retail eye care services, a retail pharmacy and a cafe would be accessible on the first floor. Riney said the incorporation of technological innovations will make it easier for doctors to access records and communicate with each other. The medical center also would have evening and weekend hours.

Riney declined to comment on the leasing price for the space.

Henry Ford has more than 30 outpatient medical facilities throughout Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. It said in May that it is opening a $38-million, 83,000-square-foot medical center in fall 2019 at the development known as the Village at Bloomfield. Riney said Henry Ford expects to announce several expansion projects in the next since months, as well.

"We have increasing demand for our services," Riney said. "This allows us to strategically place care in locations that are convenient throughout southeast Michigan, and we will continue to do that."

The Detroit-based health system follows several other announcements in expanding health care services in Metro Detroit. Royal Oak-based Beaumont Health said earlier this month it is opening two new outpatient care campuses in Macomb and Wayne counties in addition to 30 new urgent care centers in Southeast Michigan. Detroit Medical Center plans to open at least two more MedPost urgent care centers in 2019.

In addition to Henry Ford's new outpatient center, the Royal Oak civic center will house a new city hall, a police station, a 581-space parking structure and a city park.

The five-building development has been controversial in the community for numerous reasons. Some community members have said they worry the project will grow problems of insufficient parking. Additionally, the Boji Group purchased a piece of prime property from the city for the development for $1, and it is receiving $5.5 million from Royal Oak to build the park and parking deck.

"They are getting the guaranteed tax revenue," said John Truscott, a spokesman for Boji. "It's an incentive upfront, but it'll mean millions over the years in terms of tax payments. I'm unaware of any other developer personally guaranteeing a certain amount of tax revenue."