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Posted on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

U-M health system anticipates 715 visits per day at new 60-physician facility in Northville

By Amy Biolchini


An artist's rendering of the proposed Northville Park Place development at the corner of Seven Mile and Haggerty on the border of Northville and Livonia. The two-story brick building in the background is the University of Michigan Health System's new Northville Health Center and will be the anchor for the development.

Courtesy REIS Schostak Brothers and Company

The University of Michigan Health System is expanding its Wayne County footprint with a new 100,000-square-foot facility on a high-traffic commercial corridor in Northville.

The facility will be the first of its kind for the health system, and will supplement two Livonia clinics that UMHS operates. It’s part of an effort by the health system to provide both specialty and primary care services closer to patients’ homes.

UMHS is partnering with Real Estate Investment Group-Schostak (REIS) to be the anchor tenant of Northville Park Place: An 82-acre development in the works at the corner of Seven Mile and Haggerty roads in Northville.

The site was formerly a portion of the approximately 400-acre Northville Psychiatric Hospital parcel, which REIS initially purchased from the state in 2007 for $31.5 million.

After a lawsuit between the developer and Northville Township over REIS’ plans for the property, a judge set the current ownership agreements in 2009: REIS owns 82 acres, and the township owns the remainder of the property - which includes the vacant psychiatric hospital.

Though progress is slow on the township-owned property so far, the private developers are moving full speed ahead.

REIS will be funding and building a 100,000-square-foot, two-story standalone building with 110 exam rooms for UMHS’ clinic that will be situated at the rear of the property. The developer declined to release the construction cost, and is scheduled to break ground on the facility in March.

UMHS is the one committed tenant for the property, and has a 25-year lease for the building once it’s constructed. The U-M Board of Regents agreed to a base rent of $27.25 per rentable square foot per year, with escalation of 5 percent every five years for the new facility.

When constructed, the Northville Health Center will be the third-largest property that U-M leases for its operations.

The health system operates two other clinics in the Livonia area, and has no plans to close them once the Northville Health Center opens, said Jeanne Rizzo, executive director of Ambulatory Care Services for UMHS.

The Livonia Center for Specialty Care at 19900 Haggerty Road is half a mile down the road from the Northville Health Center site, and has a freestanding operating room, clinic space, dialysis services and some radiology capabilities. The Livonia Health Center at 20321 Farmington Road provides family medicine and primary care.

“We have interest in the I-275 corridor, which encompasses the Northville, Livonia, Farmington and Novi communities," Rizzo said. "Currently, our patient care facilities in the area are limited and at capacity; we needed to expand to better serve our patients." The Northville Health Center is slated for completion in 14 months, after which UMHS will flesh out the interior of the space in 60 to 90 days with a $39 million capital budget. The $39 million does not include the cost of the lease.

UMHS anticipates opening the Northville Health Center to patients in fall of 2014.

UMHS anticipates 60 doctors and 215 support staff will be located at the site, though a specific workforce development plan has yet to be initiated.

UMHS is expecting to see 715 visits per day at the new Northville Health Center. The facility will house radiology services including X-ray, ultrasound and MRI, as well as a gym for physical and occupational therapy.

A number of specialty services for adults, children and women will be offered at the center, which will make it unique to the health system’s offerings among its clinics. Those services include: Medical procedures for GI, pain and PM&R; cardiology; hematology/oncology; hepatology; neurology; neurosurgery; OB/GYN; rheumatology; urology; infusion clinic for cancer and non-cancer patients; speech therapy; opthamology and pathology.

The site was one of UMHS’s top choices when it was looking to expand because of the busy corner, the undeveloped land, proximity to UMHS’ existing facility and easy freeway access, Rizzo said.

On the commercial side of REIS’ development that will front Seven Mile and Haggerty, there will be about 80,000 square feet of retail and commercial space for which REIS is actively seeking lease agreements.

John Truscott, a REIS representative, said there has been interest in the leases. REIS estimates 90 to 100 full-time tradesman jobs will be created for one year as a result of the UMHS health center construction.

The Northville Health Center will expand services to patients in that market as a part of UMHS’ philosophy to service patients closer to their homes.

“What we’re planning in Northville is comprehensive.” Rizzo said. “Patients that identify the University of Michigan as their health care provider have no choice but to drive into Ann Arbor to see many of our specialists. We want to bring some of these services to the community as a convenience for our patients.” The success of the Northville project will evaluate whether UMHS would like to move forward with the expansion of some of its other clinics, Rizzo said.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.


Nathan Phenicie

Tue, Jan 29, 2013 : 6:06 a.m.

A $75 million dollar lease and then the U of M still has to spend ANOTHER $39 million to finish the build-out of the medical center? WOW. Call this corporatism at it's best (or worst) and no wonder why tuition at the U of M is so high! The University should have bought the property from the Township in the first place and just retrofitted the old mental hospital with that $39 million. Our society isn't "broke" it's just that our crooked leaders have no imagination!


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 4:10 p.m.

Seems there is never a shortage of money to build or for administrators and those at the tops pay and bonuses, but the peons are told constantly that there is a shortage for raises for them.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

Ah, the competition to fleece the taxpayers through the Medicare system continues. I'm loving it.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

Shame what they did to that beautiful forest/marshland (and one of the last remaining in that ridiculously congested Haggerty corridor).


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.