NEWARK, NJ – Development and city officials have rolled out plans for One River View at Rector, a $90-million, 25-story condo tower with a retail component at 36-54 Rector St., the site of the former Science High School. The half-acre site is in the heart of this city’s downtown business district.
The developer of the project is Boraie O’Neal Urban Development, a partnership that includes basketball star and Newark native Shaquille O’Neal and his two-year-old O’Neal Group, and the New Brunswick, NJ-based Boraie Development LLC, headed by chairman Omar Boraie. “Newark now has a strong civic vision that makes this development possible,” Boraie says.
Under the terms of the redevelopment agreement with the city, the existing façade of the former Science High School will be retained. Plans for the 25-story tower call for 152 market-rate for-sale condos, a 154-space parking garage and 6,500 sf of ground-floor retail. The site in this city’s Central Ward is within walking distance of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Washington Park and several commercial office towers.
“I am happy to be involved in such a tremendous project,” O’Neal says. “The impact will create life-long opportunities for the city of Newark. I’ve always believed that no success is complete without giving back to the place you call home.”
“We’re adding housing options to every neighborhood of Newark, and this is another addition to our transformation,” says Mayor Cory Booker. “This manifests the attractiveness of our downtown to both the business community and residents, adding exponentially to the economic strength of our city.”
“Our business district is fast becoming a 24/7 downtown,” says Deputy Mayor Stefan Pryor. “This project will create residential and retail spaces that are active day and night, infusing our downtown and arts district with even more life.”
The redevelopment agreement just approved by the municipal council and facilitated by the Brick City Development Corp., Newark’s economic development organization headed by CEO Joseph Ritchie, transfers the property to Boraie O’Neal. The agreement also includes a commitment by the developer to ensure “first source” interviewing and hiring of local residents for permanent jobs created by the project. NewarkWorks, the city’s workforce development agency, and the Essex County Building Construction Trades Council are collaborating with the developer on the hiring aspect.