Dignitaries including Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Shaquille O'Neal celebrate the topping-off of One Rector Street.
By: Christie Duffy
Newark city officials and Boraie Development cut the ribbon Wednesday on the first market rate apartment building to be built in the city in over 50 years.
The luxury building has Manhattan skyline views, a gym, a rooftop deck and other amenities.
It went up in a section of the city that is booming - downtown at 50 Rector Street. It also had a famous backer: Newark native Shaquille O'Neal.
PIX11 covered the groundbreaking in 2018, where Shaq stated his vision for his hometown.
“My mother says to me, 'I remember when this city used to be beautiful. Somebody needs to come by and invest in the city and make it beautiful again,'" he said. "And she gave me a big elbow to the chest.”
The building is filled with 170 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom luxury apartments starting at $1,800 per month. Plus, there is retail space on the street level below.
The building is another example of the changing face of Newark’s downtown, which has seen a boom of investment in recent years.
The building is 55% leased out.
As part of the 23-story project, the developer led an initiative to train and hire 42 Newarkers — many of them women — for the construction trade. They got union jobs through the program.
"The union is the best thing that happened to me this year," said Jessica Granados, a Newark resident.
Boraie Development also gave the city a $25,000 donation Wednesday to put toward the city’s job training program.