Financial troubles surrounding major commercial developments in New Bruinswick, NJ continue, even as the US recession recedes from view. A recent article in Press of Atlantic City gave details about a loan given to the Middlesex County Improvement Authority by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority which bankrolled the building of The Heldrich Hotel in New Bruinswick. The loan was given in 2005, and a interest and principal payment of $1 million was due to be paid in January. The payment on the $20 million loan was just one of many missed payments by Middlesex County Improvement Authority, which has been in financial straits for many years.
The hotel and conference center were developed by a nonprofit group called The New Brunswick Development Corp (Devco). The corporation was praised by state Senate President Stephen Sweeney as an example of what kind of work can be accomplished when public funds are channeled through private firms to build large construction projects. The New Brunswick company is a kind of sister to the Atlantic City Development Corp, which is expected to handle over $200 million in public and private financing to build the Gateway project in Atlantic City’s Chelsea district.
Is it reasonable to expect that The New Brunswick Development Corp. and The Atlantic City Development Corp can successfully oversee projects of this scale? The track record so far indicates that the answer is no, but plans are still moving ahead for more projects in the future.