New Brunswick, New Jersey is one of those old New Jersey cities that has gone through dramatic transformations over the years. In 1920, about 33,000 people lived in New Brunswick. Many of those people were of Hungarian descent. The 2015 population of New Brunswick was 57,000, and many of those people come from Hispanic and Asian countries. The city has had its fair share of ups and downs over the last two centuries. The downtown area became a ghost town in the 1960s. There was an exodus to the suburbs back then. The only major business that remained downtown was Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Company. Rutgers University was the main attraction in the downtown area during those mid-century years. In 1975, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority formed the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DevCo). The goal of DevCo was to revitalize the downtown area and to rejuvenate the neighborhoods that were deteriorating from lack of use and crime.
In the 1970s, Johnson and Johnson decided to stay in the downtown area. The company built a new world headquarters on Route 18 and George Street. That was the first sign that downtown New Brunswick was making a comeback. The second sign came from Boarie Development LLC. In 1972, Sam Boraie started buying dilapidated downtown properties. Back then, people couldn’t walk on the streets after dark. The crime was out of control. So Boraie went to work, and he redesigned on Albany Street. He started buying the 21 old buildings on the block. Sam’s first major project was the Albany Street Plaza Tower One. When Plaza Tower One was completed in the 1980s that first 250,000 square feet of office building stood in the middle of downtown like a Phonix rising from the ashes. Tower Two was completed in 2003, and that structure gave the city more office space.
Boraie knew he had to add more residential units to the downtown area. He studied the residential buildings in New York City, and he decided to develop the One Spring Street Condominium building. The building is a New York City style structure with 25 floors. One Spring Street has 121 residential units, 10,000 square feet of retail space, a 400-space parking garage, and 40,000 square feet of office space. According to Bloomberg.com, when the building was completed in 2007, it sold out in two months.
The Aspire Building, another Boraie creation, is a 17-story 370,000 square foot residential and office building with a four-story parking garage. It is New Brunswick’s first luxury condominium building. People are moving back to downtown New Brunswick thanks to Sam Boraie’s vision. The Millennials that work in the offices Sam built want to live near work and Boraie is giving them what they want. Boraie Development LLC is in the process of building Tower Three on Albany Street.
The 73-year old Boraie (https://www.crunchbase.com/person/sam-boraie#/entity) is not finished with New Brunswick even though he developed One Riverview in Newark with Basketball star Shaq O’Neal. In 2014, Boraie’s company played a role in the fundraising project for the State Theater. Sam was recognized as one of the four honorees that helped make the State Theater possible.