Queen Latifah comes home to redevelop New Jersey neighborhood

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Rapper and actress Queen Latifah is giving back to her New Jersey hometown in a big way.

The star, whose real name is Dana Owens, is a part of an extensive redevelopment project on a neighborhood spanning the west and south wards of Newark.

The yet-to-be-named project, in the area of Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street, is a partnership between BlueSugar Corporation and GonSosa Development.

Developers have already received Planning Board approval to convert 18 lots into five, to build 76 residential units.

Officials said the plans call for the construction of 20 three-family town homes to be rented at market rate and a three-story building featuring 16 affordable housing units that will also accommodate a fitness center for its residents.

The latter will be a mixed-use building that will include 1,900 square feet of commercial rental space on the ground level and will be leased to nonprofits serving the community.

Officials said the 60-unit development is scheduled for completion by December 2020, while the 16-unit, mixed-use buildings ending in December 2021.

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