Big Plans For Seth Boyden Court Start With Boraie & Lionsgate
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka campaigned on the platform of bringing affordable housing and infrastructure renovation to Newark, New Jersey. However, the mayor understood that providing housing was only one part of the hurdle – if residents had nowhere to work or enjoy themselves, there would be no point in remaining in the city, and it would continue to crumble. So, the mayor has awarded development projects to some of the most innovative companies in the business, including Waseem Boraie and the Boraie Development company based out of New Brunswick.
Boraie Development, a family-run company, has extended its reach out of its home province to address projects on the east coast. In recent history, Waseem Boraie has spearheaded several high-profile residential and commercial projects in New Jersey, specifically Newark. One of his newest projects, providing Seth Boyden Court with affordable housing and retail space, lends to Mayor Baraka’s commitment to creating 16,000 new affordable housing units.
A History of Seth Boyden Court
The Seth Boyden Court residence project, headed by Boraie Development, will bring 200 new housing units for seniors on a fixed income. Additionally, it will provide an estimated 200 more market-rate apartments to the area, providing a diverse community to fill in an area that has been mostly abandoned since 2015.
The Seth Boyden Court area used to be home to 48 low-income households, and at one point contributed to the livelihood of Newark, itself. However, as the economy has fluctuated throughout the economic crises of the past few decades, Newark has seen residential communities outside of downtown struggle to keep afloat. As older buildings failed to keep up with renovations, they were unable to safely support tenants, and people left the neighborhood.
Consequently, as more and more housing units outside of Newark’s downtown were vacated and condemned, crime rates rose. The area saw a rise in drug use and squatting in vacant buildings, which often escalated to more serious crimes. Higher crime rates are often linked to crumbling community infrastructures, including a lack of jobs and affordable housing. So, developing areas like Seth Boyden Court is key not only to boosting the local economy, but lowering crime and providing opportunities to communities.
Recreating Devastated Newark Areas
The Seth Boyden Court communities do just that. As well as providing fixed-income housing for seniors and market-rate housing for community members, Waseem Boraie has included some commercial development into the mix. Seth Boyden Court will also include a nearby new hospital and a grocery store for residents, providing jobs and necessary services to developers.
But Seth Boyden Court residents will have more than just retail spaces to bring excitement to their new and improved neighborhoods. As part of his commitment to improving the local economy and bringing jobs to the area, Mayor Baraka has approved the building of a 15-acre movie and television production site – Lionsgate Newark. The project is worth over $100 million and is an addition to the well-known Lionsgate production studios.
Residents of communities with big projects, like the Lionsgate Newark project, often worry that these developments don’t have the needs of the community in mind. Even developers hoping to demolish and rebuild residential areas incite whispers of gentrification, and with good reason. Developers often don’t consider resident needs when constructing housing sites, which is something Boraie development aims to change with Lionsgate and their partners.
The Future of Newark Includes The Voice of The People
One of the reasons Mayor Ras Baraka and the Newark Housing Authority selected Waseem Boraie’s company to take on the construction of the Seth Boyden Court project – and several others – is because Boraie development has shown a shared commitment to improving the local community with their projects.
The very nature of the Seth Boyden Court project shows that to be true. As well as providing market-rate housing, which can fluctuate in affordability, Boraie development will incorporate subsidized housing for those who may not be able to afford the market rate fluctuations. Integrating housing types is key to building community – as it prevents lower- or fixed-income residents from being pushed out of their homes while also providing a diverse population of people.
Waseem Boraie and his development team also understand that the key to keeping people in a residential area is providing them with the opportunities that allow them to stay there. Often, this requires good public transportation, but it can also include boosting the very local economy. By working a hospital and other retail sites into development plans, Boraie development and the City of Newark are providing jobs and places for people in the community to utilize. Lionsgate has also pitched in to assure Newark residents it plans on contributing to the community, by offering educational & internship opportunities to local students, as well as creating as many as 600 new jobs.
For Newark Housing proponents, the key to the boom in development will be replacing low-income housing with a 1-1 ratio – a plan which Ras Baraka and the Newark Housing Commission are committed to. By employing innovative developers like Boraie, it’s likely this and much more is possible for the great city of Newark.