- The Newark Municipal Council has approved a payment of $2 million, using car rental tax funds, to the developers of a $68 million residential high-rise, the first in Newark, NJ, since 1962, in an effort to get construction underway, NJ Advance Media reported.
- The start of the project, which is also backed by NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, has been on hold for more than two years.
- Developer Wasseem Boraie, vice president of Boraie Development, told Advance Media that Goldman Sachs is providing $35 million in loans, and Urban Transit Hub tax grants will furnish almost $24 million. Their own contributions and other private sources will fund the remainder, he said.
Baye Adofo-Wilson, Newark deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told Advance Media that an increase in construction costs has kept the project, originally priced at $60 million, stalled until now and that construction would begin in the next few weeks. The project also received a 30-year tax abatement from the city.
Although the city did not make up Boraie’s total shortfall, Adofo-Wilson told Advance Media that Boraie intends to overcome the financial challenges and "push through."
"We've been though a lengthy negotiation on this to ensure that he would be shovel ready, and he has met conditions put before him," he said.
Rehabilitation work on the former Science High School site should take approximately 60 days, after which work on the tower will begin. Developers will preserve the school’s facade, and officials said the 22-story building should be complete in 15-17 months.