NEWARK, New Jersey — NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal, is bringing a 22-story apartment complex — called “Shaq Tower” to his hometown of Newark, New Jersey — as its first high-rise in more than 50 years.
On Tuesday, O’Neal, was joined by Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Mayor Ras Baraka to mark a milestone in the building’s construction.
The $79 million luxury apartments, developed by Boraei Development and O’Neal, are steps from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the renovated Hahne & Co. building that includes a Whole Foods and the newest restaurant by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.
The 168 apartments at 1 Rector Street will open by the end of the year with residents able to apply for a lease as soon as September, Wasseem Boraie told NJ Advance Media. He said the company bought the property — which used to house the old Science Park High School 10 years ago — but construction didn’t begin until last October.
O’Neal also announced a new $150 million, 350-unit apartment complex with Boraie (whom he called “the Kobe Bryant of development”). The 35-story building on 777 McCarter Highway will be known as the “House that Shaq Built,” O’Neal said.
A new program in Newark called Project IMPACT also partnered with O’Neal and Boraie to help train local residents for unionized jobs. So far, 18 individuals have been placed as apprentices.