DEVCO’s Heldrich project questionable.

New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), is a real estate development company based in Albany Street Plaza in Albany Street, New Brunswick in New Jersey, USA. The Corporation was started in 1975, with the sole purpose of revitalizing New Jersey’s city center and neighborhood. New Brunswick city is part of Middlesex County in New Jersey state. The development company is private and is headed by Christopher Paladino, who also heads DEVCO’s sister firm Atlantic City Development Corporation.

Devco has had the highest number of development of both public and private projects within the city. DEVCO started its work back in 1975 when New Brunswick’s dwellers started moving to the town’s suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, the neighborhood had buildings that were considered dangerous. This saw occupants go to newer suburbs around and within the city. The Authority has since developed many buildings and structures within the city.

In the year 2005, the Middlesex County Development Authority acquired a $20 million loan from Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The county development authority later contracted DEVCO using the money to develop Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center. Heldrich Hotel was officially opened in 2007 following its two-year construction term end. Since its opening, Heldric has struggled to attract clients who in this case are guests.

DEVCO’s head Mr. Paladino is the one who arranged for Heldrich’s loan. Middlesex County Development Authority had by January this year failed to pay Heldrich’s loan back to CRDA. In March, Christopher Paladino said the loan would be repaid, but it will take a couple more years. Heldrich had a 63.5 percent occupancy rate, with its largest account being traced to Johnson & Johnson, a company whose executives are part of DEVCO’s board of directors.

According to Press of Atlanta City (http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/unpaid-million-crda-loan-raises-questions-about-new-brunswick-devco/article_a03318e2-dcdb-11e5-a563-67611bc7b7bc.html), County Authority’s failure to repay the loan has raised eyebrows. The state senate’s president Stephen Sweeney sees the corporation as a channel to waste public funds. Stephen faults the county authority for channeling public funds through a private firm to execute large-scale projects.