Documents on Park­house re­leased

The Colonial - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Clark

Mont­gomery County of­fi­cials have re­leased MidAt­lantic Health Care’s re­sponse to the Re­quest for Pro­posal to pur­chase and take over the Park­house geri­atric fa­cil­ity in Up­per Prov­i­dence Town­ship.

The re­sponse was re­leased af­ter The Times Herald, Mont­gomery Me­dia’s sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion, sub­mit­ted a Right To Know re­quest with the county ask­ing for the doc­u­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­sponse to the RFP, which is dated July 12, 2013, Mid-At­lantic Health Care did have in­ten­tions of de­vel­op­ing part of the land in­volved in the sale.

“MAHC pro­poses to pur­chase all land, fa­cil­i­ties, and op­er­a­tions on the 288 acre cam­pus for a to­tal of $35,000,000. While we have not fi­nal­ized our plans for the additional land, we have had pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sions with the Ein­stein Health Sys­tem to par­tic­i­pate in this project. Fur­ther, we are also speak­ing with Ganas De­vel­op­ment (which is led by Dr. El­liot Menkowitz), and The Sukonik Build­ing Com­pa­nies to de­velop a com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment strat­egy,” the re­sponse states.

Ac­cord­ing to the sec­ond page of the re­sponse, as of July 2013, Mid-At­lantic ex­pected to in­vest heav- ily in the skilled nurs­ing fa­cil­ity, build an as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity and build a con­tin­u­ing care re­tire­ment com­mu­nity.

“Re­gard­ing the skilled nurs­ing fa­cil­ity — we ex­pect to in­vest up to an additional $15,000,000 over five years to ren­o­vate Park­house,” Mid-At­lantic’s chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, Michael J. Ma­hon, wrote in the re­sponse.

He writes that it is his hope to make Park­house into a state-of-the-art nurs­ing cen­ter with a 60-bed short stay “Step-Up” unit and continues that un­der Mid-At­lantic con­trol, Park­house will con­tinue to ac­cept and serve the needs of both Medi­care and Med­i­caid re­cip­i­ents with­out hesi- tation.

The re­sponse also states Mid-At­lantic ex­pected to add as­sisted liv­ing beds over the next five to 10 years.

“We also ex­pect to build a co­or­di­nated in­de­pen­dent liv­ing cam­pus in­clud­ing the mar­ket rate and sub­si­dized unit,” Ma­hon wrote. “We plan to com­mis­sion a mar­ket study of the area to help as­sess the proper mix of each type of bed. Based on our ex­pe­ri­ence, we ex­pect this project to cost ap­prox­i­mately $50,000,000.”

At the end of the re­sponse, Ma­hon stated MidAt­lantic ex­pected to spend at least $100 mil­lion to de­velop the cam­pus and to add at least 250 jobs to the lo­cal econ­omy.

Since the re­sponse was sent to the county, MidAt­lantic CEO Scott Rifkin has stated his com­pany has no plans to de­velop the land around Park­house.

In an un­dated let­ter from Rifkin to Mont­gomery County So­lic­i­tor Ray­mond McGarry, Rifkin writes that while he orig­i­nally had plans of ex­pand­ing Park­house, he saw how it im­pacted the com­mu­nity and ul­ti­mately de­cided against it.

“As we have stated to the var­i­ous com­mu­nity groups, we had a no­tion to in­ves­ti­gate whether the cur­rent fa­cil­ity would serve the com­mu­nity bet­ter if we added the miss­ing pieces of a typ­i­cal CCRC — more as­sisted liv­ing and in­de­pen­dent liv­ing on the cam­pus,” he wrote in the un­dated let­ter.

“Af­ter con­sult­ing with your of­fice and hear­ing the con­cerns of the com­mis­sion­ers and the com­mu­nity we de­cided not to pur­sue that op­tion,” Rifkin wrote.

The let­ter from Rifkin to McGarry was sent to The Times Herald along with the re­sponse to the RFP af­ter the Right To Know re­quest was ap­proved.

The sale of the Park­house fa­cil­ity has stirred con­tro­versy among a dis­sent­ing group of county res­i­dents who be­lieve the land Park­house is built on, and the land sur­round­ing it, is open space and can­not be sold by the county. The county main­tains the land is not open space and that just be­cause it has re­mained open be­fore does make it legally pro­tected space.

A group of pro­tes­tors to the sale have also main­tained the county has not been forth­com­ing with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the sale of the fa­cil­ity.

The fi­nal sale of Park­house was in­tended to go through Jan. 31, but due dili­gence on the part of Mid-At­lantic and the county has led to the dis­cov­ery of a few en­vi­ron­men­tal and build­ing is­sues that need fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

At the last com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing, the com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved the emer­gency ex­ca­va­tion of an oil tank that failed a tight­ness test. Fur­ther en­vi­ron­men­tal and build­ing test­ing still needs to be com­pleted.

A fi­nal sale date has not yet been sched­uled.

21st Century Me­dia file photo / GENE WALSH

View of the west build­ing at Park­house Prov­i­dence Pointe.

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