DEVCO Construction Company and New Jersey Projects

DEVCO is a construction company with offices located in Bernards, New Jersey. Founded in 1988, it is a privately held company with headquarters listed as Australia. This company was featured in the February 2014 magazine Construction in Focus, which lists its many achievements.
This company specializes in projects with a price range of 2 million to 40 million dollars. This includes things such as residential high-rise, schools, offices, factories, hotels and other types of large construction ventures. Construction has been especially heavy in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Many of its projects involve financing from public funds.

A recent article by Reuben Kramer, Staff Writer, appeared in the February 29, 2016 issue of The Press of Atlantic City. This was regarding the construction of The Heldrich, a New Brunswick conference center and 235-room hotel, which was developed in 2007. It is stated that it was “‚Ķdeveloped by a nonprofit called the New Brunswick Development Corporation” (DEVCO).

The article goes on to say that the project was financed by $70 million in municipal bonds that were issued by the Middlesex County Improvement Authority. This money was received from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and paid to DEVCO.

Due to lack of occupancy in the hotel, money that was to be paid back has not materialized. Currently, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority Bonds are more than five years in arrears equaling almost $7 million dollars. This includes their April 2016 payment of $1 million in principal and interest.

Currently, a sister firm, the Atlantic City Development Corporation, is expecting to use $19.5 million in CRDA money for the Gateway project in Brunswick’s Chelsea area. The article goes on to say that, this is when “‚Ķpublic dollars are funneled through private firms to execute large-scale construction”.

It makes sense that when public moneys are used to pay a private entity, there is always a gamble as to whether the money will be repaid. As a result of this debacle, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has signed a law concerning state agencies granting loans to businesses and nonprofits who are arrears on payments.