From the time Omar Boraie arrived in New Brunswick, New Jersey, he knew the city had the potential to be great. Despite skeptics, he pursued his dream and succeeded in making his adopted, once downtrodden hometown, into a city which is becoming a prime destination for both companies and residents to relocate.
The seventy-three-year-old Boraie settled in New Brunswick in 1972 after marching through Europe as a traveling chemist scholar. While abroad, he witnessed the revitalization of a number of the cities he passed through. That experience, coupled with Johnson and Johnson’s 1975 decision to maintain its corporate headquarters in New Brunswick inspired Omar Boraie to take the lead in initiating improvement efforts.
Boraie’s plan was two-pronged. First, he wanted to draw businesses in and increase the city’s workforce. This goal was put into motion when he purchased numerous land parcels on Albany Street, one New Brunswick’s thoroughfares. Boraie encountered many skeptics. However, by 1985, he had constructed Albany Street Tower One. Soon, the office building’s space was rented. Capitalizing on the success of Tower One, Tower Two was erected in 2003.
The next part of Omar Boraie’s strategy was to bring more residents to his city. He accomplished this task with the completion of a twenty-five story, high-rise complex on Spring Street. Not only was this mixed-use facility equipped with more than one hundred residential units, but also contained abundant square footage in office and retail space. The entire facility was rented out within two hours of going on the market.
Boraie is not content to stop. He is currently working on Albany Street Tower Three. In addition, his Aspire Luxury Condo complex was recently completed. This 238-unit facility with 10,000 square feet of retail space and four-story parking garage will be geared towards those who live, work and contribute to the New Brunswick community.
Boraie’s involvement has inspired other entities to throw their hats into the revitalization ring. Rutgers University, whose main campus is in New Brunswick, in partnership with the Devco Corporation, will be undertaking a $300 million project designed to provide the school with another quad, which will be built along College Avenue. In addition, Devco will be overseeing the construction of “The Hub” at New Brunswick Train Station, a project that will entail nearly two million square feet of space being transformed into 500-600 units of residential housing, offices, research areas and retail establishments.
Boraie said he is pleased to look out his office window and witness a booming, expanding city, instead of the old oil tanks, building foundations, boulders, and tree stumps that used to be visible throughout New Brunswick.