New Jersey: Newark’s Queen Returns Home To Build Housing On A Troubled Block
April 27, 2022 | Business Capital News |
“Queen Latifah returned home to Newark on Tuesday, warmly welcomed by fans, family and public officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for a mixed-use project she is partnering with local developers to build in the city’s South Ward.
“I was born here, St. Michael’s Hospital, so this is definitely my home,” said Latifah, 52, who spent some of her early years in neighboring East Orange and Irvington. But getting back to Newark, she added, “This is where Sarah Vaughn is from, so I’m proud to be from here.”
Latifah, an award-winning rapper, singer, and actor who stars in “The Equalizer” on CBS, appeared before a crowd of about 150 people gathered at the site of the RISE mixed-use project at Springfield and 19th Avenues.
The project will include 60 two- and three-bedroom market-rate apartments in four townhouse clusters, and 16 affordable units in a separate building. It will also have space for healthcare or other professional offices and nonprofit organizations.
Rent for the market-rate units will start at around $1,800 a month, said officials of GonSosa Development, the company headed by Alberto and Yacinda Goncalves and Ricardo Sosa that is partnering with Latifah’s development company, Blue Sugar, on the project. Blue Sugar’s CEO is her longtime friend and fellow Newarker Tammy Hammond.
Construction began this winter on the first phase of the project, a dozen market-rate apartments in a three-story building designed to look like a townhouse cluster, which is expected to be completed this summer. Additional phases will be finished gradually, including the affordable units sometime in 2023, with the entire project done by early 2024.”