On February 29, an article in Press of Atlantic City reported that the Middlesex County Improvement Authority was behind in repaying money loaned to it by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Middlesex has been behind for five years, and is behind by $7 million. The Casino Authority made the $20 million loan to Middlesex in 2005. The money went to build The Heldrich in New Brunswick. It’s a hotel and conference center. The developer was a nonprofit organization named the New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco).
The Heldrich has 235 rooms, and opened in 2007, right at the beginning of the subprime mortgage crisis, so that was poor timing. And business apparently has never recovered. In 2015 its occupancy was 63.5 percent.
New Brunswick is still involved with the project although construction is complete. Christopher Paladino continues to speak for the hotel. He revealed New Brunswick Devco spent $776,000 of its own money to pay basic expenses, such as replacing carpeting and mattresses. Paladino told the NorthJersey.com New Brunswick continued to support the project and wanted to see it succeed.
New Brunswick is a nonprofit supported by the corporation Johnson & Johnson. Despite the urban decline common decades ago, Johnson & Johnson committed to keeping its international corporate headquarters in New Brunswick. They continue to help out Devco.
Devco has begun a $00 million project to revamp Rutgers University, which is also in New Brunswick. Devco has won many awards for developing the Gateway Transit Village, The Heldrich, New Brunswick High School, the Child Development Institute of New Jersey, Civic Square II, Providence Square and Middlesex Family Courthouse.