New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO) is a private non-profit urban real estate development company. Since its inception, Devco has overseen more than $1.6 billion for investment in New Brunswick. Redevelopment in the city has remained active because of the robust and aggressive approach of DEVCO. The firm has received many awards because of their expertise in creating strategic alliances, innovative project financing structures, and strong public-private partnership.
In an article on Press of Atlantic City, it was reported that Middlesex County Improvement Authority had failed to repay $20 million loan plus an additional interest sum of $1 million. They borrowed the loan from Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in 2005. The loan was to be used in the financing of the construction of The Heldrich. It is a New Brunswick hotel and conference center developed by DEVCO.
Attorney Chris Paladino, the President of DEVCO, said that the loan would eventually be paid, but it would take a couple of years. He is the one who arranged the $20 million Heldrich loan. The investment on The Heldrich has hit a snag since the hotel was opened in 2007. The Heldrich has struggled to attract guests to the 235-room capacity building. In 2015, its occupancy level was at 63.5 percent. Things have been difficult for the hotel as they were forced to tap about $776,000 from its money to fundraise for capital expenses such as carpet and mattress replacement.
The $20 million loan was a small part of the total budget of $107 million that was required to finance The Heldrich. There was $70 million in municipal bonds that were issued by the Middlesex County Improvement Authority. The spokesperson of Improvement Authority, Ms. Maria Prato, said that they were optimistic as economists that the project would satisfy its outstanding obligation in due time.