Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball legend wants in on the Atlantic City real-estate market by developing an apartment complex in a long vacant plot next to the now shuttered Revel casino. It appears that his long wait might finally be ending in a few months.
Back in March of 2013, Shaq and real-estate developer, Wasseem Boraie had received a $30 million loan from the Atlantic City Casino Redevelopment Authority (RDA) for their apartment complex proposal called The Beach at South Inlet. The expected cost of the 250-unit apartment project was $61 million.
However, since then, the RDA decided to go back to the drawing board after the Revel and Showboat casinos closed, and the Trump Taj Mahal began struggling financially.
It is now being reported that the Authority appears to be giving itself a bit more time to deliberate on the proposal by extending the loan expiration date to January 29th. So in the next few months, Shaq should know whether he and Mr. Boraie can proceed with The Inlet project or not.
Wasseem Boraie, the executive vice president of Boraie Development LLC expressed eagerness to get started with the project. He further revealed that they had received outside funding from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and the partners were rearing to start, pending approval from the RDA.
Mr. Boraie’s company develops real-estate projects in New Jersey and employs approximately 20-49 people. It has an annual revenue of $10 to $20 million. He is the son of Omar Boraie, who founded the company, and proved many naysayers wrong by building a successful high rise project for luxury apartments in New Brunswick.
Much like his dad, Wasseem has long been a proponent of developing several small projects in parallel, with joint financing from private parties as well as state and local authorities. He believes that such a strategy could see a renaissance in the real-estate scene of Newark and other New Jersey cities. In a recent panel discussion at the Newark NRE Summit, he praised Newark city officials for taking this approach and expressed hope that other cities would follow suit.