Northern Light Mercy Hospital is continuing its migration from downtown Portland to its Fore River Parkway campus, also in Portland, with plans to open a new outpatient specialty care and surgery center next month.

Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s new outpatient specialty care and surgery center on the Fore River Parkway in Portland. Photo courtesy of Northern Light Mercy Hospital/Ed Gilman

The hospital said it will open facilities for gastroenterology and endoscopy on the first floor of a new 35,000-square-foot building at the Fore River campus on Oct. 4, followed by a wound care center a week later. The rest of the outpatient surgery facility, on the building’s second floor, will open on Nov. 4.

After that, the next major steps in the move will be an expansion of the current inpatient facility at the new site and activation of the hospital’s emergency department there, scheduled for late November or December.

At the end of February, operator Northern Light Health will turn over the former hospital building on State Street to development partnership NewHeight Redfern, which purchased the site in February 2020 and announced plans to convert the 80-year-old building into housing.

The partnership is made up of the NewHeight Group, which has done several upscale condominium projects in Portland such as the Luminato and 118 on Munjoy Hill, and Redfern Properties, which has built several market-rate rental housing projects in recent years that include West End Place, Munjoy Hill Heights, the Hiawatha on Congress Street and 89 Anderson in East Bayside.

Northern Light has leased back the old hospital site as it winds down operations there and moves the remainder of its facilities to the Fore River Parkway site. Mercy CEO Charlie Therrien has said the current hospital at 144 State St. would continue to operate until a new hospital, ambulatory surgery center and medical office buildings are completed on the Fore River campus in 2022.

NewHeight Redfern purchased the building for $20 million, money which Mercy is using to offset some of the $83.8 million cost of the Fore River hospital campus.

Mercy spokesman Ed Gilman said there are now 39 beds in the inpatient facility at the new site, and that it eventually will have 71 beds, plus six observation beds.

The hospital first opened some facilities on the Fore River site in 2008 and received city approval for the rest of the project in February 2020.

The move comes as Maine Medical Center is in the midst of a major expansion of its medical campus, not far from the State Street site where Mercy has been located.

Maine Med is adding 128 new private rooms for patients, 19 rooms for surgery and other treatment, additional parking for patients and visitors and a consolidation of employee parking in a new garage. Its expansion will cost about $534 million.


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