Saturday, October 1, 2022

Queen Latifah Building $14M ‘Affordable’ Housing Project in Newark

Queen Latifah-Headshot

*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.”

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Queen Latifah attends the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Queen Latifah attends the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

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.”

queen latifah
A rendering of the 76-unit residential town homes coming to Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street in Newark. Queen Latifah, a Newark native, is one of the investors. (Courtesy: BlueSugar Corporation and GonSosa Development) (BlueSugar Corporation and GonSosa Development)

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.”

 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. thanks Queen Latifah for doing what a lot of well off industry folks should be doing not for just black folks but for everyone who needs a quality affordable place to live, to people like yourself who will not wait on the government you have the means to do and found like minded folks to join you. WISH I LIVED IN NEWARD

  2. Let’s get one thing correct, it’s not a housing project! When private citizens invest in real estate and decide to construct affordable housing, it is simply a housing development.

    Only cities can construct public housing which are a.k.a’s Projects.

    That is all.

  3. Think of people like mr, those who just can’t get anything beyond minimum wage, part time work and are disabled, not able to get benefits or are on disability. For us, affordable housing would be $400 a month max. We got to find like 6 roommates to rent at $1500 a month, so $1800 a month would mean 8 to 10 people in one apartment. Truly affordable housing needs to be lower. Some of us, like me, for our mental health need to live alone but can’t afford to, and end up living with people who make us want to jump in front of a speeding train.

  4. Anon, double check what it said –
    “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.”
    So, to live there it would be based on your income, much better for those it’s intended for.

  5. I wonder the purpose of quotations around the word AFFORDABLE. Given the sliding scale, you absolutely, positively do NOT need to put that word in quotes. It smacks of doubt and cynicism, and I hope the title is updated.

  6. This is a great thing she’s doing and my only critique is that “affordable” shouldn’t be in quotes. That suggests it’s not really affordable. I like the fact that it includes both market-based and sliding-scale rent. Housing projects don’t work. Communities need to reflect all income ranges and not be separated out. It’s been shown that keeping the poor all together only increases the potential for crime.

    • Please read the article and comments before yours very carefully before you make your own comment.

  7. Hmmm…39 apartments for 14 million dollars. That’s $359,000.00 per apartment. Only the people making money will be allowed to move in. They won’t let anyone making $800.00 a month on Social Security move in. No one is going to spend that kind of money and not be wanting to make more money. $359,000.00 will buy a 4 bedroom home with an acre of land here.

  8. Extremely commendable, Queen. Maybe the out of work, underemployed will learn by building, and earn some equity, contact Habitat for Humanity and the National Assoc. of Homebuilders, National Assoc. of Realtors, too, they are great people.

  9. Extremely commendable, Queen. Maybe the out of work, underemployed will learn by building, and earn some equity, contact Habitat for Humanity and the National Assoc. of Homebuilders, National Assoc. of Realtors, too, they are great people.

  10. Well I for one would love something like that is that in Newark Delaware or somewhere else cuz I live in Delaware I’m on a fixed income I get paid once a month for disability and I’m having problems trying to find somewhere to live

  11. Remember #QualityEducationForAll is the pledge for development. #OneWorldOneAcademicLibrary – #KnowledgeSharing brings together, students, teachers, researchers … connected to share mutual educational resources, the moral caution to the #QualilityEducation. Join to make a difference.

  12. Nice construction plans to build up our city. Everything that sounds to good to be true? Well you know the rest. Ok when new construction is being planned? Is it done to promote wealth for the community or private investors who profit from us and do not hire local contractors. They bring outsiders in to gain wealth from these projects and take the money and run! Never any disrespect to the Queen LT. is local and i say keep up the hope for everyone.

  13. Very commendable by Queen Latifah. As for those who didn’t read the fine print, please note carefully what is in a message before condemning that message. It may be that your lack of attention to detail is what has caused many of your problems.

    Secondly, everyone can’t live everywhere…if you can’t afford to live in the urban area, maybe a lower cost rural environment is better for your economic situation.

    Lastly how will the Queen and her development partners be able to have the people move in, but keep out the potential negative aspects of their culture that might follow them?

    I’m asking/makeing honest questions/points here.

  14. Thank you Queen Latifah, I have always admired you . Since I was 8 I followed you and you have always represented what a woman should be. We definitely need you to come to Alabama specifically in the Dothan area. Not only a complex would be nice but a program set up to empower women and educate them in how to be successful and productive. We have a serious transportation issue in our area. If a Bus line was put in place that would make a tremendous difference for many of the low income households and give them a chance to go to work, school. doctor appointments…ETC.. My response may be a tad off topic but my main point is that I love what you are doing for Newark and I truly hope your project inspires more Celebrities to get involved and help areas that need a chance in maintaining there households…I again just want to say thank you for being such a positive role model in my life!

  15. What a CRUEL JOKE Ms. Latifah is perpetrating on the impoverished people of Newark,NJ!!! A small(studio?1bedroom?) unit will COST $1800 a month!!! The average S.S. benefit currently pays recipients $1200 monthly!!! Ms. Latifah…YOUR ‘affordable’
    apartments ARE LUXURY LIVING,my dear!!! List them AS SUCH!!!

  16. I would like to know if you have an apartment for a single person ( livingroom, 2 bedroom, kitchen) the 2nd bedroom for a sewing room. I have a section 8.

  17. Thank You Queen for giving back to Newark affordable houses is what we need. How do we go about apply to this housing can can not find any information on how to feel out an applacatio

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