Sam Boraie, vice president of operations with Boraie Development (see, bloomberg.com), has teamed up with basketball legend, rap star and Hollywood A-lister Shaquille O’Neil to construct the first high rise in Newark since 1962. The building, a stunning, 23-story tower with heavy Art-Deco influence will be a mixed-use space. It will feature hundreds of condo units, apartments and over 7,500 square feet of retail space.
An all-star team
Shaquille O’Neil is one of the most successful American professional athletes. The Newark native has shown incredible aptitude for other pursuits, beginning with his acting and music career, while he was still playing for such teams as the L.A. Lakers and Orlando Magic. But it’s been in business where O’Neil has really come into his own. He’s gained a reputation as an astute entrepreneur and a staunch advocate for the economic betterment of his struggling hometown.
Sam Boraie is likewise well-credentialed. According to crunchbase.com, his firm, Boraie Development is widely credited with almost single-handedly turning the downtown New Brunswick, New Jersey area from a festering slum into one of the state’s most sought-after real estate markets. This ongoing project was started by Sam’s father, Omar, and has been continued by Sam and his brothers.
PR News says what makes the Newark development so special is the fact that it may not have been capable of being pulled off by anyone on the planet besides Shaquille O’Neil and Sam Boraie. That’s because no traditional financier wanted to touch it. Boraie was literally laughed out of meetings with bankers when he told them he wanted to build a luxury condo complex in downtown Newark. It was after a few of these encounters that he had the idea to go to O’Neil, who has the reputation as a sharp investor as well as a dedicated activist for Newark urban renewal.
The two quickly melded and drew up an agreement. For a large part of the initial financing on the $60,000,000 project, O’Neil would get a sizable ownership stake and rights to the penthouse suite. Boraie Development financed much of the rest of the project with its own capital, taking a sizable risk. Today, construction is well underway. The project should be completed by spring of 2018.