As New Jersey continues its work in recovering from the Great Recession, what’s clear is that not every recovery plan is working as hoped. Case in point is the redevelopment strategy proposed by The New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), which proposed using public funds funneled through private companies that could develop major properties. While that all sounds like a great idea on paper, the reality of its difficulties has hit home.
A recent story in The Press of Atlantic City reported that The Middlesex County Improvement Authority has missed a $1 million loan repayment. The payment was for a $20 million loan from by the Casino Reinvestment Development authority for the development of The Heldrich, a hotel and convention center complex. The loan was granted in 2005, and The Heldrich opened in 2005. According to The Press of Atlantic City, the Improvement Authority now has missed payments adding up to $7 million.
The Heldrich hotel has not had an easy time since its opening in 2005. The hotel has 235 rooms but it has struggled to keep them occupied. The timing of the hotel’s opening was difficult, as it coincided with the beginnings of the real estate crash, followed by the Great Recession. The hotel has actually been so short on funding it has had to cover its own costs for new mattresses, carpeting and basic upkeep.
The attorney in charge of the development from the beginning is Christopher Paladino. Paladino has expressed his pride in the hotel, saying that the project turned a rundown area into something clean and very special. He also said he’ll be happier about the project overall once it is out of debt.