“In 1992, me and my mother were visiting relatives, and my mother says to me, ‘I remember when the city used to be beautiful, somebody needs to come by and invest in the city and make it beautiful again.’ Then, she gave me that big elbow to the chest like I’m that somebody ,” said Newark native and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.
O’Neal is making good on that nudge. He returned home to celebrate the completion of the top floor of his 20-some-story, 168-market-rate apartment and retail building on Rector Street.
The governor thanked O’Neal for never forgetting where he came from, and for helping Newark reach its potential. “This city is on the rise. Let there be no doubt about it,” said Murphy.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says it takes partners.
With the building, O’Neal and the city launched Project Newark, modeled after Project IMPACT. “That program is to give a helping hand to women, minorities, and veterans looking to get a career in the construction trade,” said Bill O’Dea, Hudson County Freeholder and founder of Project IMPACT.
on NJTV News Online, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.