By Karen Yi
Former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal is making his mark on his hometown skyline.
And much like the 7-foot-1-inch sports legend, the 22-story apartment complex — colloquially called “Shaq Tower” — will hover over the city’s downtown as its first high-rise in more than 50 years.
“I remember when I was growing up (the city) used to be beautiful like this so the older I get, I want it to be a little more beautiful,” O’Neal told NJ Advance Media. “I invest in things that are going to make a difference.”
On Tuesday, O’Neal, a Newark native, was joined by Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Mayor Ras Baraka to mark a milestone in the building’s construction.
“Yet another piece of evidence that this city is on the rise, let there be no doubt about it,” Murphy said. “This is a city that has got a trajectory that is undeniable … as our big urban centers go, first and foremost as Newark goes, so goes the state of New Jersey.”