Hip-hop icon Queen Latifah is returning to her hometown of Newark, NJ to invest in a $14 million project to build 20 multi-family townhomes and a three-story, mixed-use building with an additional 16 units. The townhomes will be market rate, while the 16 units in the building will be affordable housing.
Latifah, a co-president of BlueSugar Corporation, is working with GonSosa Development on the project and Cristina Pinzon, a spokeswoman for the developers, said both companies recognize the need for affordable housing in Newark. “They understand how difficult it is to make ends meet for many residents and want to be part of the solution. They remain dedicated to making life better in communities like Newark,” she said in a statement.
Rent for the market rate units will reportedly start around $1,800 a month and are expected to open by December 2020, while the affordable housing building is scheduled to be finished in December 2021 with unit rent being based according to a tenant’s income. The building space will also include a fitness center and 1,900 square feet of retail space that will be rented to nonprofits. The project groundbreaking is set for this summer.
The Queen joins other Newark-born celebs like former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who have also launched projects for the Brick City.
Last year, O’Neal announced he would be building a $79 million, 22-story high-rise in downtown Newark.