In 2005 one of the most anticipated real estate development projects in New Jersey by DEVCO was the development of The Heldrich, a 235-bed hotel and conference center located in New Brunswick, NJ. While the project was expected to do very well, the development and opening of the project ended up being timed poorly as it opened right around the time of the economic collapse.
Along with the collapse of the global and national economy, the hotel and conference industry struggled, and the Heldrich was not an exception. While it was expected to attract very large conferences and have a high occupancy, it has not been successful in getting the top attractions and the property has averaged no more than 65 percent occupancy.
Due to the low occupancy, the owners of the property have struggled to pay their loan and bond payments back. This past week the owners of the project defaulted on a $20 million CRDA loan, which was provided by bondholders through the Middlesex Country Improvement Authority. While the senior bond holders have been repaid, this level of debt is going to continue to be in default.