Shaquille O’Neal, the former NBA star who contributed to huge wins for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat has started becoming more involved in his home town of Newark, NJ lately. He’s now taken up a little real estate investing and the firm he’s collaborating with in these investments is Boraie Development. O’Neal and Boraie Development have already worked together on several downtown areas including the CITYPLEX 12 district, but the latest property they’ve opened is a high rise known as One Rector Street. It’s the first that’s been built in Newark since the 1960s and its placement is ideal for city workers to get to downtown offices. Since O’Neal was quite involved with this project, the building has been named by some as Shaq Tower.
Wasseem Boraie and his brother Sam were the main supervisors for the One Rector Street construction, but it was their father Omar Boraie who began the company. Omar Boraie is a first generation Egyptian immigrant whose first goal in coming to the US was to establish a career in chemistry. He came to live in the New Brunswick, NJ area, and when he arrived he was shocked at how underdeveloped it’s downtown was. Boraie decided he would begin building there, so he took out loans to buy several downtown properties and formed Boraie Development, LLC. The company first opened Albany Street Plaza with one building in 1988, and the second was finished in 2003. This area of New Brunswick started getting the attention of other real estate firms after Boraie’s units started getting full, and before long other empty buildings were renovated and leased out. For more details you can check out rutgers.edu
Omar Boraie decided to do something that had never been done in New Brunswick before when he announced the plans for a 25-story housing building on One Spring Street. Apartment buildings that tall were thought to be a Manhattan and Brooklyn trend, but not a New Brunswick one. But that property proved to be quite a novelty and very popular when it sold out in under two months. Boraie Development then expanded their portfolio to 390 George Street, The Aspire property by the New Brunswick train station, the Estates at Waverly Place and the Milltown Ford Avenue. The company has been looked at as the one that brought New Brunswick and Newark back to life, but Omar Boraie says to this day that New Brunswick’s mayor helped make it possible, and healthcare provider Johnson & Johnson also was instrumental in their decision to remain in the city. You can visit bloomberg.com to see more.