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Detroit Pistons hope new practice facility becomes hub of New Center neighborhood

The Detroit Pistons are building more than a practice facility and corporate headquarters.

The NBA franchise hopes to create a hub in the New Center neighborhood.

That’s the message from Monday’s ground-breaking held at the future site of the Pistons’ home in the city of Detroit.

“As a training facility, this will give us an edge, providing (Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy) and our players with the most advanced technology available to maximize performance,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in a release.

“But when you look at the development and the unique partnership with Henry Ford (Health System), it’s so much more. We are bringing more jobs into the city and creating another catalyst for additional investment. It will be another cornerstone in the revitalization of this community.”

The Pistons and Henry Ford Health System have partnered with Christmas Co. and L.S. Brinker Co., as developer, owner's representative and construction manager.

The ground-breaking was attended by Detroit mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield, Wayne County executives and Henry Ford Health System officials. Henry Ford Health System is partnering with the Pistons on the project.

The Pistons promise to avoid building a typical, non-inviting office building, located in the neighborhood north of Midtown and just a short distance from the new Little Caesars Arena, where the Pistons began playing earlier this month.

Gores added in the release that more partners will be announced in the coming weeks, as the development will have restaurant and retail space.

The multi-use complex is a partnership with Henry Ford Health System, which was announced in February, will also serve as a comprehensive sports medicine facility.

It will be the last phase in the Pistons' move from the Palace of Auburn Hills in northern Oakland County to downtown Detroit.

At a February news conference with Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit Councilwoman Mary Sheffield, Henry Ford executives and Tellem, it was estimated the facility would cost between $50 million to $60 million. The council later approved, by a 7-2 vote, a nearly $20-million brownfield tax incentive and other exemptions tied to the project. 

The 100,000-square-foot project located just south of West Grand Boulevard and the train tracks from the New Center Amtrak station will feature:

• A more modern player locker room and lounge.

• A weight room facility with state-of-the art equipment.

Follow this link to read the original article at freep.com.