Former Eloise hospital site in Westland to be converted to hotel, restaurant

New state grant will help clean up site for redevelopment project

The former Eloise Psychiatric Hospital site in Westland will soon be home to a new hotel, restaurant and bar, thanks to a grant from the state of Michigan.

WESTLAND, Mich. – The former Eloise Psychiatric Hospital site in Westland will soon be home to a new hotel, restaurant and bar, thanks to a grant from the state of Michigan.

The city of Westland was awarded a $695,000 EGLE brownfield grant to address existing contamination at the former Eloise Psychiatric Hospital and ensure the site’s safe reuse. Westland has partnered with 30712 Michigan Avenue LLC to redevelop the hospital as part of a multi-phase project.

The completed project will include removal of several blighted structures, preservation of two historic structures and the addition of new commercial establishments, including a haunted attraction, hotel and restaurant/bar.

“We are very grateful to EGLE, the city of Westland and the State of Michigan for this grant. It will assist us in the redevelopment of this challenging project.” John G. Hambrick, managing member of 30712 Michigan Avenue LLC.

Other grants were awarded in Metro Detroit for a new multi-tenant affordable housing apartment complex in Ferndale and a redevelopment that will house commercial, office and residential space in Northville. Overall, in 2022 EGLE provided $20.7 million in brownfield funding to 67 projects statewide.

History of Eloise

The history of the Eloise hospital is more like Michigan folklore. At its peak in the 1920s, the Eloise complex was a small city with a hospital and mental asylum housing 10,000 patients and a staff of 2,000.

Anytime we bring up Eloise to our audience on ClickOnDetroit, the reaction is unbelievable. It seems everyone has some sort of connection to the place. Some had relatives who stayed at the hospital. Some know of the ghostly legends. Some broke into the abandoned buildings as trouble-making teens.

The Eloise began as the Wayne County Poorhouse, which opened in 1839 in the now defunct Nankin Township.

Nankin was a part of Wayne County, originally named Bucklin Township, and it included what are now the cities of Livonia, Inkster, Dearborn, Redford, Wayne and Westland.

Eloise was one of the first hospitals to use x-rays for diagnosis. It was also home to the first kidney dialysis unit in Michigan. The complex eventually expanded — spanning 902 acres, with more than 70 buildings.

The facility had a radium treatment for cancer patients, and the sanitarium was one of the first to use “open air” treatment for tuberculosis patients. Psychiatric patients underwent electroshock and insulin shock therapy.

After the Great Depression, the population of the complex started to decrease, as reports of violence, questionable conditions, misconduct and overall neglect surfaced.

Farm operations ceased in 1958, and the psychiatric division began to close in 1977 when the state took over. The main hospital closed in 1984.

In 2018, Wayne County sold off the former Eloise complex to developers for just one dollar to promote redevelopment of the site. Since then, it’s been the place for haunted tours during spooky season. (Read more about why it was for just $1 here)

Related: Behind the scenes at Eloise Asylum haunted attraction in Wayne County


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.