Three Michigan health systems have formed a joint venture to build and operate a $48 million modern medical laundry service facility in Detroit.

Henry Ford Health System, Michigan Medicine and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System are collaborating in a major economic investment in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood north of I-94 and west of the Lodge Freeway.

“By sharing a centralized laundry service, our partnership demonstrates how health care institutions can work together to achieve efficiencies and spur economic renewal,” said Bob Riney, Henry Ford’s president of Healthcare Operations and COO. “We're committed to doing our part to continue to reinvest in Detroit and the communities we serve throughout southeast Michigan.”

The development was made possible by Henry Ford acquiring the long-vacant, 10-acre industrial property at 1150 Elijah McCoy Drive in 2017.

The laundry service facility will be owned and operated by the Metropolitan Detroit Area Hospital Services, a Michigan nonprofit corporation.

When operational in the spring of 2020, the new eco-friendly facility will have the capacity to service 78 million pounds of health care linens every year for the health systems. Each system is expected to achieve significant savings from more efficient operations. The facility will house about 180 employees, with more than 100 to be new hires. All positions are expected to earn competitive wages, with health care and retirement benefits.

Once completed, the facility will be one of the largest shared medical laundry facilities in square footage in the country. Discussions for a new shared laundry service facility began in 2016, with a commitment to keeping the new facility in Detroit.

“Reliable laundry production is essential to providing excellent patient care,” says Tony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the U-M Health System for Michigan Medicine. "Our current facility processes nearly 11 million pounds of laundry each year, and we expect that to grow. This new facility allows us a cost-effective way of preserving quality laundry services that are key to our patient experience.”

Construction on the 105,000-square-foot shared laundry facility, which expands the building's current footprint, is scheduled to begin this spring. The laundry facility will occupy about 40 percent of the property, with Henry Ford retaining ownership of the balance for future use. It will operate free of government subsidies.

To finance construction of the facility, MDAHS has issued bonds in the aggregate principal amount of $48 million.