NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Queen Latifah joined Newark Mayor Ras Baraka Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 76-unit housing development.
The Rise Living development is looking towards the future of Newark and will transform several properties along 19th Avenue, South 16th Street and South 17th Street into modern housing and mixed-use spaces.
"Newark is ours, it's yours and I don't want people to think they can't live in their own communities," Mayor Baraka said.
Rise Living is a collaboration between Life Assets Development, Gonsosa, and the BlueSugar Corporation, which was co-founded by Queen Latifah, a native of Newark.
"I drove past this block I saw what was needed," she said. "I saw houses they weren't lived in ... some were dilapidated. I thought why not here."
The development compliments a citywide initiative to revitalize the face of Newark and provide beautiful modern housing to its residents.
The buildings will include a fitness center, business center, charging stations for electric vehicles, and ground floor parking spaces.
Modern amenities will include touchless entry, free Wi-Fi in all common areas, online portals for maintenance and rent payments, washers and dryers in units, hardwood floors, green roofs in selected units, air conditioning, and stainless steel appliances.
There's also 1,900-square-foot ground floor space for non-profit organizations.
Officials say 16 of the units will be classified as affordable housing, and market-rate rents are set to start at $1,800 per month.
Work has already begun on the site at 650 Springfield Avenue in January of 2022.
Pre-leasing is expected to commence in July of 2022.
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