And who else is leading the charge in this movement? None other than former NBA superstar Shaquile O’Neal, a 19-year player who was a part of many championship runs. But he considers Newark as his home, and his role in the rebuilding plan? He is hosting a 3 on 3 basketball tournament that’s already gotten underway, and through this tournament he hopes to raise money as well as awareness and belief that the city can rise up. Shaq has also done other projects in conjunction with the Boraie Development that have led to sections of his old neighborhoods being turned into good residential units and thriving businesses.
The Boraie Development has been one of New Jersey’s most prominent builders over the last 30 years, since getting started in the late 70s and early 80s. Although Omar Boraie, the head of the company has taken the lead on many of the New Brunswick renovations, he credits the firm of Johnson & Johnson for remaining committed to the growth of the city and giving him the opportunity to build in it. Omar was often thought to be a bit reckless in his building investments with other developers thinking that no undertaking could ever bring a ghost town back to life. But indeed Omar proved them wrong, and after the Boraie LLC office building went up, the rest of the block soon followed with apartments, commercial spaces and parking garages sprouting up. Restaurants, clubs and other businesses soon moved into this renovated territory and New Brunswick was a place to be sought after. The Boraie family continue to plan out major developments in New Jersey, and one will be following soon on the heels of the Aspire.