Omar Boraie resolves zoning disputes to complete first Newark high rise in years

Sam Boraie is the executive vice president of Boraie Development, one of New Jersey’s largest and most successful real estate development firms. Over the last two decades, Boraie’s father, Omar, has gradually stepped aside, handing the firm’s direction over to the younger generation. It has been under the new vision of Sam Boraie that the company has enjoyed some of its most impressive accomplishments.

One of the largest projects that Omar Boraie has taken on in recent history is the massive 26-story, Art Deco apartment complex in the heart of Newark, New Jersey, One Riverview. The project’s ambition can hardly be overstated. The ultra-modern, sleek structure stands over 300 feet tall, making it the tallest building newly constructed in Newark in over 50 years.

But the project barely got off the ground. It was only through Boraie’s extreme dedication, business acumen, negotiating skills and longtime friendship with NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neil that the building wasn’t consigned to remain completed only on the blueprints.

Boraie had to overcome many obstacles in the completion of the project. According to Patch, the first and most significant was the severe lack of interest among traditional financiers in doing anything within 10 miles of downtown Newark. In fact, Boraie was only able to bring traditional lenders on board after he had secured considerable non-traditional financing, including a large commitment from O’Neil and tens of millions in tax grants and breaks from the state and the city.

Boraie then had to contend with a zoning dispute, which delayed the project for over a year. But through sheer perseverance, he brought all the parties together and was able to get the project off the ground.

Today, One Riverview sits at the center of a billion-dollar economic redevelopment zone in downtown Newark. The area is now attracting the attention of serious investors, such as Prudential and Goldman Sachs, who are taking pieces of major real estate projects in the area. The 26-story One Riverview is located across the street from another major redevelopment project, a massive 200-plus unit apartment and condo building that will house a Whole Foods supermarket on the ground floor, the first of its kind to be built in Newark since the 1960s.

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May 15, 2017

Posted In: City Transformation

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