Lourdes Health System announced this week that a high-profile former retail spot will become the newest addition to the system's facilities.
The former Pathmark at the corner of Route 154 and Route 70 in Cherry Hill was auctioned last July for $1.7 million by Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co., in the Annandale section of Clinton. At the time, the buyer was anonymous, but the hospital said Friday that Rosewood Real Estate Enterprises, a Cherry Hill developer, purchased the property to create a sophisticated ambulatory care center.
Lourdes has a 15-year lease with Rosewood for the 54,000-square-foot care center, which will become the primary location for Lourdes Cardiology Services, including the Congestive Heart Failure Center. According to the system, other services — such as diagnostics, physical therapy, sports medicine and laboratory services — also will be housed at the location. The center is expected to be complete by December.
"Our goal as a health care provider is to keep patients out of the hospital and closer to home," said Alexander J. Hatala, president and CEO of Lourdes Health System, in the announcement. "The new ambulatory care facility will allow us to achieve this goal by expanding health care services in the South Jersey community, so that patients can focus on many facets of their health in one central location."
Kim Barnes, vice president of planning and development with Lourdes, said the system has 52 physician practices in the area, and while many of the practices will remain in their current locations, having a centralized hub for specialists and other services will be more convenient.
Barnes said the hospital had been looking at several different locations in Cherry Hill before settling on the Route 70 lot.
"Cherry Hill has had a lot of great development lately in that area, a lot of new stores — it really is an optimal area, in terms of access," Barnes said. "It's such a central area in Cherry Hill, and we're happy to have it developed."
The announcement was made last week, as the Cherry Hill planning board recently adopted a resolution that will allow the retrofit to move forward. Lourdes is based in Camden, and operates a hospital in Willingboro and a wellness center in Collingswood.
Barnes said capital for the project is being provided by Lourdes' parent company, Catholic Health East.