Back in 2005, there were big plans for redevelopment in New Brunswick, as The New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco) offered up a vision for a new hotel and conference center called The Heldrich. The idea was that Devco could be a model for how big scale projects could be built with public funds funneled into private development companies.
The reality, however, is that now a $1 million loan repayment on the project has been missed by The Middlesex County Improvement Authority. The Press of Atlantic City is reporting that the missed payments from the Improvement Authority are now adding up to a whopping $7 million.
The Heldrich has 235 rooms, but the hotel has had difficulty keeping the rooms full with enough guests since it opened back in 2007. The hotel has actually been so strapped for funds it has had to use its own money to pay for basic upkeep and improvements like buying new mattresses and carpeting.
The timing for The Heldrich’s opening in 2007 was difficult at best, as it coincided with the beginning of the real estate crash and the Great Recession that followed.
Christopher Paladino is the attorney who has been in charge of the development from the beginning. He defends the project, saying that the hotel turned a rundown area into something very special. He also added that he’d feel even better about it when all its debts are paid in full.