DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan
is proposing a $50 million health care facility in Royal Oak that would bring it closer to many of its suburban patients, who in turn, could bring business to downtown Royal Oak businesses.
The DMC Royal Oak Center for Children and Adults would be built on one of metro Detroit's most prominent vacant plots of land - a parcel on the north side of I-696, across from the Detroit Zoo, between Woodward Avenue and Main Street.
The proposed center would offer higher level pediatric specialty care such as neurology, as well as a 24-hour emergency room geared toward children but for open to all ages. About 25 percent of the center would be dedicated to adult specialists, says Luanne Thomas Ewald, vice president of business development at Children's Hospital of Michigan.
The new center, nearly 100,000 square feet, would be built on land that's basically Royal Oak's most major entry point.
"In our development of what the design would be we kept in mind this would be the gateway to Royal Oak," Thomas Ewald says. "So it has to look like Royal Oak, not be something all modern…It has to be representative of Royal Oak."
The success of a similar center, one about half the size and in Clinton Township, prompted the decision to look into further suburban expansion, Thomas Ewald says.
There are still many issues to be resolved before construction can begin, including reaching an agreement on the price to purchase the land from the city. DMC and the city are obtaining their own appraisals and will discuss the value over the next few weeks. The target construction date is late fall 2012, and if all goes as planned, construction would last 12 to 18 months for an opening in 2014, Thomas Ewald says.
About 155 full-time jobs - doctors, nurses, x-ray techs, security personnel, etc. - would be created, she says.
"Obviously we're looking at where our current patients are coming from and trying to put our sites where the majority of our population lives," Thomas Ewald says. "And the economic benefit is an extra."
Source: Luanne Thomas Ewald, vice president of business development, Children's Hospital of Michigan
Writer: Kim North Shine