NORTHVILLE TWP. (WWJ/AP) – Some redevelopment plans are moving forward at the site of the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital, which for years has been a popular site for trespassers exploring the complex of buildings and tunnels in suburban Detroit.
The hospital in Wayne County’s Northville Township closed in 2003 and the state sold its 400-plus acre campus years ago. The property is split into two parcels with different owners and redevelopment prospects.
An 82-acre parcel is owned by REIS-Northville, a joint venture of Bloomfield Hills-based REI Investment Group and Schostak Brothers & Co. of Livonia. It’s being redeveloped into Northville Park Place, a medical and commercial development to be anchored by a $39 million clinic.
The University of Michigan Health System clinic is scheduled to open in fall 2014. The health system plans to close its Livonia Health Center located nearby and move those primary and specialty care services, as well as new ones, to Northville Township.
Construction of the retail phase is expected to begin this year.
The former Northville Psychiatric Hospital’s remaining roughly 15 structures, as well as 2 miles of underground tunnels, are on a 350-acre parcel. Northville Township purchased the site in part in 2009. Plans call for it to become a recreational park, but progress is stalled.
Last year, the township enacted a master plan to gradually transform the site into a park with trails, walking paths, ponds and gardens. An eventual goal is a $24.5-million community fitness center, including a swimming pool and tennis courts.
The township, however, is seeking an estimated $9 million to $13 million necessary for demolishing the buildings, which contain asbestos. Nothing can happen until the buildings are razed, said Jennifer Frey, the township’s community development director.
“It doesn’t make sense to rehab them or keep them,” Frey said. “They’re pretty institutional-looking buildings.”
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