*Hip-hop icon Queen Latifah is putting on her developer hat and returning to her hometown of Newark to build a new affordable housing complex.
According to published reports, the $14 million project is expected to break ground this summer along Springfield Avenue and South 17th, NJ.com reports. The outlet notes that the property will “include 23 family townhomes, 16 additional smaller units, a fitness center and a commercial space that will be rented to non-profits.”
Latifah is a co-president of BlueSugar Corporation, which has partnered with GonSosa Development on the project.
The affordable housing apartments will be priced according to a person’s income, while the rents for the market rate units will start around $1,800 a month.
“BlueSugar and GS Developers share the belief that decent, affordable housing should be available to everyone regardless of their financial situation,” said Cristina Pinzon, a spokesperson for the developers. “The principals in both companies have strong connections to Newark and the surrounding area and have seen this need firsthand. They understand know 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.”
Last year, NBA star and Newark native Shaquille O’Neill returned to his home state to invest in a high-rise downtown.
“We have been having ongoing conversations with a few other celebrities, so stay tuned,” said Aisha Glover, President and CEO of the Newark Alliance, which is comprised of local corporations and institutions who are invested in Newark. “We’re really trying to make sure that everything we do from A-to-Z is inclusive and people can afford to live here.”