A businesswoman with a background in operating sleep centers has purchased the old Capital Health Mercer Medical Center on Bellevue Avenue in Trenton. Priti Pandya-Patel told reporters she plans to turn the 650,000-square-foot space into a health and wellness complex with providers who can complement services offered at the hospitals in the area.
John Simone, a real estate broker with experience in listing and developing medical offices and care facilities, listed the Mercer Medical property for Capital Health. Simone described the availability of such a large building in the city a “rare event,” but termed the concept for its reuse as “very viable.” Because of the size of the building, medical offices would not be sufficient to fill it, but other uses also would come into play. Among the possibilities: a fitness center, occupational health facility, hospice, nursing home, and a long-term acute care facility or “LTAC.”
Such a facility serves people whose insurance may require discharge from a hospital but who may still require assistance that is reimbursed at a different level. There are only a few LTACs in New Jersey, Simone said. If one is housed at the Trenton building, it would be the first in Mercer County and central New Jersey.
Simone said that many different types of buyers expressed interest in the property, for uses including veterans’ housing to residential apartments.
The deal comes at a time when medical arts buildings are springing up all around the hospitals in Hopewell and Princeton that have opened in the past two years. Capital Health left the Mercer Medical Center space two years ago when it opened its new Hopewell campus, though it still operates an emergency and trauma center on Bellevue Avenue.
In a press statement Capital Health CEO Al Maghazehe noted that “eight years ago, when we proposed closing Mercer hospital, we committed to the community that we would find a buyer for the property who would enhance the neighborhood. We have now delivered on that promise.” The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Pandya-Patel, an Old Bridge resident, is not a newcomer to the medical field. In 2005 she cofounded the International Sleep Network with her partner, Rajesh Grover, of Green Brook. That business developed into a network of about 10 sleep diagnostic centers, including one on Federal City Road in Lawrence, though it recently has suspended operations while it undergoes changes in its ownership.
She bought the Mercer campus through Global Life Enterprises, a company she founded several years ago. She recently has developed a patent pending product and process, Global Life Card (GLC), which she says will complement the electronic medical records industry.
Pandya-Patel was born in India and moved to America at a young age. Today she lives in Union County with her husband, Kal Patel, and their two children. She has a license and associate’s degree in physical therapy, a bachelor’s in therapeutic recreation administration, and an MBA in healthcare administration.
In an online post from two years ago she described herself as a working mom who strives to balance work and family: “My 14-year-old daughter Jenna and I practice traditional Indian dancing, Kathak, and Bollywood film dancing and perform together at family weddings, birthdays, and other events.” She also was a basketball and softball coach for her daughter’s community league. “My son Neil is an active 13-year-old who keeps me on my toes — whether it’s running to baseball practice or helping with homework projects. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Pandya-Patel told reporters she expected new tenants to begin moving into the Trenton location as soon as next month. On Tuesday, September 24, she will host a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at the facility on Bellevue Place.