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Basketball superstar, Shaquille O’Neal, is keeping busy in his retirement. A native of Newark, New Jersey, the towering center and rap artist has teamed up with Boraie Development of New Brunswick, NJ to revitalize the state’s urban downtowns with commercial and residential properties.

Current projects include a $60 million rental complex at One Rector Street in downtown Newark. It’s the first housing tower built there in half a century. Shaq was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony in September, attended by the Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, and other elected city officials.

A mixed-use complex in Atlantic City is also under way. It will include retail space, a theater and market-rate housing. Three more developments in Newark are planned.

As always, Shaq is keeping his eye on the ball and his head in the game. As co-developer in the ventures, he receives an equity stake but his purpose has a single focus: rejuvenating downtown cores. He stated in the Wall Street Journal, “We don’t want to be all over the place.”

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