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NEWARK — Ground was broken on Friday, Sept. 27, on the first new high-rise apartments to be built in Newark’s downtown in more than 50 years. Taking part in the ceremony was Mayor Cory A. Booker; NBA legend, entrepreneur and Newark native Shaquille O’Neal; Wasseem Boraie of Boraie Development; Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr.; Newark Municipal Council President Luis Quintana; Newark Councilman Darrin Sharif; Margaret Anadu from the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group; Ommeed Sathe from Prudential Financial; and other dignitaries. Sen. Menendez was scheduled to attend, but had to be in Washington for last minute votes.
One Riverview at Rector Street — at the site of the former Science High School — will be a 23-story building featuring 169-unit market-rate studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, with amenities including a 24-hour doorman and fitness center. Boraie Development is partnering with O’Neal to construct the building. The project is expected to create more than 300 construction jobs in the city. Financing for the development will be provided by public and private sources including the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group and the Prudential Insurance Company of America.
“We have witnessed a number of monumental developments in our downtown in recent years, including this week’s opening of Teachers Village on Halsey Street. Today we broke ground on a major apartment building being constructed by a man who grew up on streets of Newark and came to define excellence as an athlete, an entrepreneur, and an American: our own Shaquille O’Neal,” said Booker. “One Riverview at Rector Street will create hundreds of jobs and emerge as the city’s first residential tower to be built in 50 years, a historic accomplishment that will catalyze Newark’s residential community and enhance the aesthetic of our growing downtown neighborhood.”
“Today is a great day for the City of Newark,” said O’Neal. “As someone who grew up here, I am proud to be one of the developers helping move Newark forward. Count on One Riverview being the best building in the state of New Jersey.”
“To break ground for the first residential high-rise in Newark in 50 years is a great step forward that compliments the city’s success in attracting more businesses to the community,” said Sen. Robert Menendez. “Shaquille O’Neal has never forgotten his connections to Newark. I thank him and Wasseem Boraie for their investment in New Jersey’s largest city as well as Mayor Booker for all of his efforts to revitalize the city of Newark.”
“Boraie Development LLC is so proud to be part of the rejuvenation of this wonderful city,” said Boraie. “From last year’s opening of CityPlex 12 to this new residential project, we’re excited to be part of the community and look forward to this next chapter.”
“After the successful renovation of CityPlex 12, we are excited to partner with the Boraie Development Group and Shaquille O’Neal again on the first new residential high-rise in Newark in over 50 years,” said Anadu. “The development of transit-oriented, high-quality housing in the heart of downtown will perfectly complement the variety of initiatives that the city of Newark has boldly championed since implementing the Living Downtown Plan.”
The city has $2 billion of major construction projects in the pipeline for 2013 and 2014.