Trenton-Grosse Ile Patch editor Nate Stemen recently spoke to Marco F. Capicchioni, vice president of Facility, Real Estate and Support Services at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), to ask three of the most popular questions asked by readers pertaining to the former Riverside Hospital property.
The questions were gathered from comments made to several stories and posts on the Trenton-Grosse Ile Patch Facebook page.
These are the questions followed by Capicchioni's responses:
How can HFHS help improve the economic future of Downtown Trenton, in regard to the former Riverside Hospital property?
"Since closing the property in 2002 and selling it in 2009, our goal has been to see the property redeveloped in a manner that will benefit the City of Trenton and its residents. We remain committed to being a good neighbor by supporting the community through scholarships and community outreach through health and wellness events. The City of Trenton actually agreed with the deed restriction because they wanted to avoid having a non-profit take over the location. The city wanted a residential project on the site that would provide as much tax base as possible and develop foot traffic to the shops in town. In fact, Henry Ford packaged the site for sale as a high density residential."
Why did HFHS add deed restrictions when selling the property?
"Henry Ford initially added deed restrictions when selling the property in 2009 to prohibit the sale of the property to persons and/or entities that would be in direct competition of Henry Ford Health System. Since then, Henry Ford has made several attempts to accommodate Dr. (Iqbal) Nasir’s request in a modified manner. On July 18, 2012 Henry Ford representatives had a phone conference with Dr. Nasir’s legal counsel and had offered to provide Dr. Nasir with a written waiver personal to Dr. Nasir that would allow him to move forward with a 78 bed skilled nursing facility and senior housing component. To date Henry Ford has not heard back from Dr. Nasir’s attorney."
In the event that Iqbal Nasir does not build his project, for whatever reason, would HFHS tear the building down?
"Henry Ford has not owned the building since 2009. Dr. Nasir is the current owner and it is his decision on how to move forward."