In Shaquille O’Neil, Omar Boraie saw someone who cared about more than profits

City Transformation 0 Comments

Shaquille O’Neil is perhaps the most famous resident to ever come out of Newark, New Jersey. After a career in the NBA that spanned almost 20 years, O’Neil became famous for his formidable ability to score points and grab rebounds. Likewise, he proved off the court to be a driven and capable entrepreneur. He is one of the few professional basketball stars who have truly gained a reputation in business that matches his accomplishments on the court.

Omar Boraie is one of New Jersey’s most daring and successful real estate developers. He has long been willing to go where others refused; taking huge risks on projects that many said were doomed to failure. But this penchant for calculated risk-taking has served him well, along with the communities that his projects have transformed.

According to Patch, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Boraie and his father, Omar, are widely credited with nearly single-handedly bringing back that city’s dilapidated urban center from the brink of becoming a total wasteland. The same fate that beset Detroit and Camden appeared to be closing in on New Brunswick. But the Boraies implemented a daring vision, sinking tens of millions into developments throughout the city. Today, New Brunswick has some of the most sought-after downtown real estate in New Jersey.

It was, therefore, almost a natural match that these two larger-than-life superstars of their respective domains would get together to bring back Newark from its long slide into urban decay. Sam Boraie and Shaqulle O’Neil teamed up to bring a series of major redevelopment projects to downtown Newark. The first was Citiplex 12, a major theater complex that proved to be a nearly instant success.

After seeing that their mutual vision for a revitalized Newark had some real teeth, O’Neil and Boraie then decided to jointly undertake one of the most ambitious development projects in the city’s history. One Riverview would be a 26-story glass and steel structure to rival the best co-ops in Manhattan. They built the skyscraper in one of the most downtrodden areas of town. One Riverview, as it’s called, is scheduled for move-in in the fall of 2017. It has sold out.

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