Henry Ford Health System Community Letter of Understanding
Effective Date: May 16, 2014


Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) is committed to the City of Detroit and dedicated to revitalization of the neighborhood south of West Grand Boulevard, across from Henry Ford Hospital (HFH). The vision is to create much needed affordable and market rate housing, retail and commercial space, in addition to expanding HFH to focus on services that respond to community need. This effort requires and will benefit from the engagement and involvement of the local community. To that end, this Community Letter of Understanding has been created with input from members of the local community.

Through collaboration, HFHS’ vision for the project area, as defined below, is to develop a sustainable neighborhood that includes expansion for mission-related purposes; affordable and market rate housing; and retail and commercial space developed in a manner that contributes to integration, place-making, and an authentic environment in the local community.

Project Area

The project area consists of the neighborhood south of West Grand Boulevard, across from Henry Ford Hospital, and is defined by the following boundaries: West Grand Boulevard to the north, 14th Street to the west, I-94 to the south, and the John C. Lodge Freeway to the east.

Local Community

The local community is the area in the City of Detroit within Atkinson/Joy Rd. on the north, I-96 on the west, the Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94) on the south, and the John C. Lodge Freeway (M-10) on the east.

Local Community Stakeholders

Local community stakeholders are the residents, property owners, businesses/business owners, churches, and organized groups representing the same. This includes, but is not limited to, the West Grand Boulevard Collaborative Community Coalition (WGBC3).

Open Communications

In connection with neighborhood economic development and other improvement projects within the project area, for developments on property owned by HFHS or developed primarily for the use and benefit of HFHS, HFHS will communicate openly and transparently with local community organizations during all phases of any HFHS project.

HFHS will organize community meetings on a regular schedule during active project periods, the frequency of which will be based on the type and phase of project according to industry standards for community engagement. The purpose of the meetings is:

• For developers and project planners to provide a comprehensive overview of a project, including site plans, utility routing, traffic plans, project timelines, and other elements of the project that are relevant to the needs and interests of local community stakeholders. At all meetings adequate time will be made available to respond to questions from those present.

• To engage developers, owners, tenants, and/or vendors connected to HFHS projects in the revitalization process and vision of local community stakeholders and HFHS.

• To address questions and concerns related to design, construction, and operation of HFHS projects through communication and cooperation.

These meetings are in addition to the regular community meetings and are designed to provide access for all interested local community stakeholders so that they can interact directly with project decision-makers in an effort to develop agreeable solutions.

Environmental Justice

Revitalization of the local community and the success of HFHS projects will depend on inclusion of commercially reasonable sustainable design and construction practices, including the preservation and expansion of open space. To foster a high level of environmental sustainability within the local community, HFHS will evaluate development proposals with sustainability as a criterion. Additionally HFHS will work with developers, architects, engineers, and contractors to incorporate project-appropriate low impact and sustainable elements and practices that contribute to environmental sustainability, wherever feasible.

Socially Responsible Business Practices

Revitalization of the local community and the success of HFHS projects will depend on socially responsible business practices. The community meeting series that was referenced in Open Communications will address the common goals of improving neighborhood security, health and wellness, lighting, beautification, blight elimination and public art, and will focus on practical ways to address these issues together.

Truck Routes & Traffic Safety

Revitalization of the local community and the success of HFHS projects will be realized by creating safe and walkable streets. HFHS and local community organizations agree to work together to ensure that: (a) on West Grand Blvd, heavy truck traffic is either completely prohibited or minimized to the extent possible; and (b) throughout the local community, car-truck interaction and pedestrian-truck interaction is completely prohibited or minimized to the extent possible, especially along residential streets. HFHS will work with city departments, as well as developers, construction contractors, tenants, and operators to enforce currently designated truck routes, and to modify the truck plan for the benefit of the aforesaid goals where applicable.


Revitalization of the local community and success of HFHS projects will depend on employment gains within the local community. HFHS has established partnerships with Focus: HOPE and their Neighborhood Jobs Pipeline, and Detroit Employment Solutions, to locate, recruit, train, hire, and retain residents of the Central Woodward/North End area. This opportunity will be promoted to residents throughout the Local Community. HFHS will connect developers, operators, and tenants to the resources offered by Focus: HOPE and Detroit Employment Solutions (or a similar local workforce program). HFHS expects that its partners will utilize these workforce resources to enhance and maximize local community hiring. HFHS acknowledges that local community organizations may also use employment resources of their choosing in an effort to locate, recruit, and train individuals of the local community for employment positions associated with any HFHS project. In connection with HFHS projects, HFHS will work with its partners to assist with identification of qualified local sub-contractors, where applicable. HFHS expects its partners to meet or exceed its established targets for local and minority business participation on HFHS projects, whenever feasible. Job training opportunities and job opening alerts will be provided at community meetings, or through other communication media.

Financial Support & Capacity Building

Subject to its own budget constraints, and restrictions as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity, HFHS has made a major commitment to the HFHS project area through the sponsorship of real estate development projects of many types. In the spirit of good community partnering, HFHS and local community stakeholders will mutually support grant writing initiatives through letters of support.

Ordinances, Codes & Standards

The signatories hereto recognize that HFHS and developers/contractors/tenants and/or other vendors associated with a HFHS project are required to comply with local, county, state and federal ordinances, codes, standards and other regulatory criteria (“Regulations”) and grant obligations applicable to a HFHS Project or other commitment in this letter. To the extent there is or develops a conflict between the terms of this letter and Regulations, the requirements of the Regulation(s) shall prevail.

Support & Endorsement

The commitments outlined in this letter shall be valid for two (2) years from the Effective Date and will automatically renew for one year terms until terminated in writing by all Local Community Organizations represented herein and in Attachment A or HFHS provides written notice of termination to the non-terminating party(ies). In the event the approvals and financing necessary for any HFHS project to proceed are not timely obtained, HFHS shall provide written notice to the community organizations that the project will be delayed or not developed and reasons for delay/termination of the project. This Letter of Understanding can be amended at any time during its term and renewal period by consent of the signatories.

We the undersigned signify that we support and endorse the agreement expressed herein.

Henry Ford Health System:

/s/________________________________ Date: __________________________
Nancy Schlichting, CEO
Henry Ford Health System

/s/________________________________ Date: _________________________
John Popovich, CEO
Henry Ford Hospital

Local Community Organization:

/s/____________________________________ Date: _________________________
Mildred Hunt Robbins, President
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative
Chair, West Grand Boulevard Collaborative Community Coalition


/s/____________________________________ Date: _________________________
Fred Durhal, Jr.
Michigan State Representative, 5th District

/s/___________________________________ Date:___________________________
Rosemary Robinson
Michigan State Representative, 4th District