According to DEVCO’s About Us page, The New Brunswick Development Corporation was mentioned by the New York Times as being a “powerful engine for economic growth.” However, these days, the non-profit urban real estate development company is under fire for an alleged unpaid $20 million loan from the CRDA or Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
In an article by the PressOfAtlanticCity.com, the loan was issued in 2005 to DEVCO for a constructive facelift to the run-down The Heldrich, a 235-room New Brunswick hotel and conference center. The 11-story facility is located at Livingston Avenue in the heart of the city’s cultural district.
The Heldrich re-opened in 2007, but has since struggled in trying to draw guests. It is reported that the hotel is only operating at about 63.5 percent capacity. Nearby Johnson & Johnson corporation was listed as The Heldrich’s largest client.
New Jersey attorney Chris Paladino put together the multi-million Heldrich loan. He admits times have been challenging for the hotel, but ensured the media that the CRDA will be paid back, but that might mean in “a couple more years.”
Meanwhile, PressOfAtlanticCity.com claims that DEVCO corporation has been forced to use $776,000 of its own money to handle the most basic capital expenses, like mattress and carpet replacement.
Even though DEVCO was in charge of arranging the financing for the hotel and conference center, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority was, formally, the borrower of the $20 million.
Devco has a number of other completed projects sprinkled around the area, including the Rockoff Hall University Apartments, Gateway Transit Village/The Vue, Civic Square Public Safety Building, Middlesex County Family Courthouse and others.
In addition, DEVCO’s newest development is related to nearby Rutgers University. The New Brunswick Development Corporation has broken ground on a $300 million initiative for the university.