Deteriorating Mercer Medical Center could be a glimpse of what St. Francis will become (LA PARKER COLUMN) – Trentonian

In 2013, nearly two years after Capital Health halted most medical services in Trenton for a new medical center in Hopewell, hospital officials made a big announcement.

Mercer Medical Center had been sold to a buyer looking to turn the 650,000 square foot space into a health and wellness complex.

Priti Pandya-Patel, founder of Global Life Enterprises, described the property on Bellevue Ave. as perfect for his dream of creating a matrix of medical and healthcare offices offering a myriad of services.

Al Maghazehe, Chairman and CEO of Capital Health, called the Global Life Enterprises deal “an exciting development for the region.”

Of course, his enthusiasm resembles recent comments about closing St. Francis Medical Center to possibly make Capital Health (Fuld) Regional Medical Center bigger, better, and brighter.

Maghazehe, a master of putting lipstick on pigs and dressing them in Prada, added this.

“Eight years ago, when we proposed to close Mercer Hospital, we made a commitment to the community to find a buyer for the property that would improve the neighborhood,” Maghazehe said in a statement. “We have now delivered on that promise.”

A recent visit to Mercer Medical Center yielded startling findings. Each building in the hospital complex allows easy entry. Windows were blown out. The doors are either open or their windows are broken. Several ceilings have dropped.

Mattresses lay on several floors as clothes and other items pile up in the abandoned hospital.

One can only imagine the conditions on other floors. These sightings were from ground level views, as the entrance could have put our lives at risk from poachers or falling ceilings.

Capital Health abandoned the Bellevue Avenue facility in November 2011, when officials opened the new Hopewell facility. Hospital executives sought new clients with both money and health insurance.

What remains is a disaster of monumental proportions, as the property appears to have changed hands as dreams of redevelopment perished.

Capital Health sold its former Mercer Medical Center properties to Global Life Enterprises LLC in 2013, and Global Life sold those properties to 446 Bellevue LLC in 2017, according to the deeds. Well, this transfer is more like the disappearance of an STD.

City of Trenton officials must find the owner of Mercer Medical Center and demand an immediate resolution to this serious situation. This current state exists as an impending catastrophe.

In the meantime, Maghazehe should visit his old haunts and take a long look at what Capital Health’s promise looks like.

Just bring lots of lipstick.

LA Parker is a Trentonian columnist. Find him on Twitter @LAParker6 or email him at [email protected]