According to an article on Press of Atlantic City, an unpaid loan to finance the renovation of The Heldrich, formerly a run-down hotel, raises questions about the feasibility of Devco ever paying the money back. The $20 million loan, made in 2005, helped make The Heldrich usable again. While Devco has been touted as an excellent way of funneling public dollars to private firms to revitalize New Brunswick, there is a lot of doubt around whether they can pay back the loan since the hotel has not done well.
The Heldrich has done so badly that Devco has had to use its own funds to pay for the basics, like mattresses and other requirements for a hotel to run. While these are setbacks, head of Devco Christopher Paladino says that the hotel does a great deal for the community, including employing 235 unionized workers. “We took a crappy block and turned it into something special,” Paladino said. While he wishes the loans were repaid, he feels as if The Heldrich still has great potential to revitalize an area of New Brunswick that needed help.
Devco is a nationally recognized corporation that helps revitalize underused and run-down areas of New Brunswick, taking the lives of nearby people into consideration when they decide on a project. They are known for their public-private partnerships that insure a project will be workable and succeed. It is a private nonprofit urban real estate development company that has been around since the 1970’s. Their motto is, “a city is never finished”. Since its beginnings, the corporation has overseen $1.6 billion in revitalization efforts in New Brunswick.