Shaq comes back to Newark to break ground for city’s first high-rise apartment in more than 50 years
By Tom De Poto
on September 27, 2013 at 4:41 PM
John Munson/The Star-Ledger
Standing a full head taller than 6’-3” Newark Mayor Cory Booker, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal broke ground today on the city’s first high-rise apartment since 1962.
O’Neal plans to convert the former Science High School building into a 23-story, 169-unit apartment tower with retail space on the ground floor. He is working in partnership with New-Brunswick-based Boraie Development, which has helped construct more than 1 million square feet of residential and retail buildings in New Jersey and partnered with O’Neal to give Newark its first movie theater in decades.
Wasseem Boraie, vice president at Boraie Development, said his company wanted to lay to rest the perception that “the only thing that works in Newark is affordable housing and government-sponsored projects. We didn’t believe that. The more we got into the city, the more we believed that high quality retail, high quality residential is more than possible in Newark.”
Most of the units will rent for market price, ranging from $1,400 for a studio, to $2,200 for a two-bedroom, Boraie said.
He said construction is expected to begin in the spring and the project is slated to be completed by mid-2015.