Devco: A Struggling Development Ready to Blossom
The Press of Atlantic City recently published an article about the Middlesex County Improvement Authority and their failure to pay 1 million dollars to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. The 1 million dollars was going to go towards the principal and interest of a large 20 million loan that–to this date–remains unpaid. This loan was approved in good faith and assisted by the Devco group.
DEVCO, or the New Brunswick Development Corporation, has been in the forefront of developing neighborhoods and cities. They take an active interest in regions that need a boost. This does mean that the company takes risks from time to time, but these risk are worth it if it means a troubled city can once again revitalize its economy. Their model for revitalizing cities has been recognized and imitated on a national level.
One of the risks that Devco helped to get approved was the Middlesex County Improvement Authority loan. The loan did produce The Heldrich, which is the jewel of Middlesex and still considered a New Brunswick hotel and conference center. But the area is depressed, so it is having a hard time paying off its large debt, which was something that was expected. But any loan that remains unpaid is looked upon badly (especially in these troubled times). It is true that this luxurious hotel, with occupancy capacity of 235, has been struggling to attract guests, but this was to be expected and the team is working on changing the tide.
The plan is to market the hotel differently, just as Devco has done with other developments. It takes time and trust to revitalize a region and attempt to help a struggling city get back on its feet. But–in the end–Devco believes that this is the best route to take and one that will prove to be a good investment.