Hip-hop icon Queen Latifah has topped the charts in music, movies, and television since stepping on the scene 30 years ago and now she’s giving back to her hometown to the tune of $14 million.
Latifah, whose real name is Dana Owens, was born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in East Orange, New Jersey. One of her corporations, Blue Sugar Corporations is collaborating with GonSosa Development for the multi-family cluster of townhouses near Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street.
The project — that includes 16 affordable housing units with rent slated to start at $1800 a month — is expected to break ground this summer, according to NJ.com. The 60 apartments in the three-family townhouses will be at market rate.
The plans also include 1900 square feet of commercial space that will be rented to nonprofits.
Latifah is also the founder of Flavor Unit Entertainment production company along with her longtime business partner Shakim Compere.
During the early development stages of the Essex County building in 2016, it was referred to as Rita Gardens in honor of Latifah’s mother Rita Owens who passed away in 2018. The development does not have an official name, according to jerseydigs.com
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