Is the Newark tourism and casino scene poised for a comeback? Though the city has weathered shaky times over the past few years since the economy melted down in 2008, the fact is that there are signs of revitalization happening all over. One of the biggest signs right now is the news that basketball legend Shaquille O’Neill and his partners at Boraie Development, LLC, are planning to revive their upscale project, The Beach at South Inlet, pending approval by the Casino Redevelopment Authority.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of The Beach at South Inlet. The project first started back in 2013, when O’Neill and Boraie proposed it and obtained a $30 million loan to get things started. The project stalled, however, after a review by the Casino Redevelopment Authority noted the difficulties still apparent in the local economy.
Just as the project was getting started, two casinos in the area, The Revel and The Showboat, closed, and Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal was showing signs of unmistakable economic distress. Apartment complexes in the area were half empty as well, and the time did not seem right to launch a major upscale housing development.
Today, however, the scene is different. The CRA is considering granting an extension on the loan to give them time to review the current situation. It is Boraie’s feeling that the timing today is much better than it was three years ago.
In a recent talk at the CRE Summit in Newark, Wassim Boraie noted that there are currently ten major projects underway in the city. All of this is a great indicator of future success for The Beach at South Inlet. In the past, the city often put money and focus behind a single project, hoping that one successful development would stimulate the local economy.
Borarie, a decades-long veteran in the real estate and housing business, feels that real stimulus happens when there are many projects happening at once in an area. It’s that boom feeling that brings about change in a positive way, and it’s the feeling he has about the current climate in Newark.
Right now it’s wait and see as far as the go ahead for The Beach at South Inlet, but the signs all over point to a positive outlook going forward.