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Vince Ellis/Detroit Free Press
The new Detroit Pistons performance center will house a familiar name
The Pistons and Michigan-based grocer Plum Market announced in a press release Wednesday morning that the grocery chain will open a cafe and retail store in The Henry Ford – Detroit Pistons Performance Center currently under construction in the New Center area of Detroit, a short distance from Little Caesars Arena.
The facility, which will also serve as a training center and corporate headquarters for the Pistons, is scheduled to open June 2019.
Plum Market also becomes the food service provider for the Pistons.
Plum Market is a privately-owned company operating six full-service grocery stores and 10 food service operations in southeast Michigan and Chicago.
Ann-Arbor-based Zingerman’s will provide products and brewed coffee inside the Plum Market location.
“We are proud to partner with Plum Market and Zingerman’s on their first ventures in the city of Detroit,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said in the release. “They are both Michigan-based companies that share our desire to contribute to the continued revitalization of our city. This partnership will be great for our team, our employees and for the community, making New Center even more attractive to additional investment.”
Talks continue for other potential retail partners at the facility.
Similar to the concept in the Delta terminal Detroit Metropolitan Airport, the concept Midtown will feature a coffee shop, takeout options and a casual dining space.
The Plum Market location will be a 5,000 square foot space with indoor and outdoor seating.
“We are pleased to partner with the Detroit Pistons on this unique collaboration that provides food services for the basketball team and engages Detroit and the New Center area community with a new premium food and beverage location,” Plum Market CEO Matt Jonna said. “We are highly selective and we have to be partners with companies that share our same goals. Tom Gores and the Detroit Pistons share our vision for providing a high quality product with service that goes above and beyond.”
A groundbreaking ceremony for The Henry Ford – Detroit Pistons Performance Center was held last month at the site of the 100,000-square-foot facility, located just south of West Grand Boulevard and the train tracks from the New Center Amtrak station.
The team’s move downtown to play at Little Caesars Arena is the catalyst for this venture with Henry Ford Health System. The Pistons had played at the Palace of Auburn Hills since 1989. Their new headquarters will be located about two miles north of LCA.
The hope is the complex will jump-start growth in the area.
At a February news conference, it was estimated the facility would cost $50-60 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 new facility will include:
• A more modern player locker room and lounge.
• A weight-room facility with state-of-the-art equipment.
• Film and study meeting rooms.
• Advanced training-room capabilities with hydro and cryogenic treatment systems.
• Green space and courtyard locations for outside access and views of the city.
• A sports medicine building, connected to the training facility.
The Pistons are the latest NBA franchise to either build or propose a new facility, joining the Philadelphia 76ers, the Chicago Bulls, the Toronto Raptors, the Minnesota Timberwolves and others.
As food provider for the Pistons, Plum Market will deploy chefs dedicated to the team serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Working in tandem team athletic training staff and nutritionists from Henry Ford Health System, chefs will have the ability to personalize food options for each player.
“We want to create a comfortable home environment at the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center where our players look forward to spending time working, training and bonding,” said Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem, who helped to broker the deal. “Utilizing Plum Market chefs and food service expertise will optimize performance for our team and enhance our ability to attract and retain top talent by delivering a level of innovation and service unique to other NBA training facilities.”
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