Queen Latifah Helps Break Ground on Next Phase of Newark’s Rise Living

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Springfield Avenue Queen Latifah Development Newark 2
Queen Latifah’s Development along Springfield Avenue, Newark. Rendering via BlueSugar Corporation and Gonsosa Development.

One of Newark’s native daughters recently returned home when Queen Latifah celebrated the final portion of construction on a project that her company helped spearhead.


Jersey Digs has been following what is now known as Rise Living for many years. The development, currently rising on what was a vacant lot at 650 Springfield, finally got off the ground earlier this year after various delays.

Queen Latifah Newark
Image courtesy of Life Assets Development.

Rise Living is a collaboration between Life Assets Development and Gonsosa along with the BlueSugar Corporation, which was co-founded by Dana Owens aka Queen Latifah. The ceremony heralded the next phase of work on the site, with will include 76 units as well as 1,900 square feet of ground-floor space for non-profit organizations.

16 units within the complex will be classified as affordable housing, with market-rate rents set to start at $1,800/month. The development’s modern amenities will include touchless entry, in-unit washers and dryers, hardwood floors, green roofs in selected spaces, and stainless-steel appliances. Pre-leasing is expected to commence in July of this year.

Queen Latifah Newark Development Ground Breaking
Image courtesy of Life Assets Development.

“We are thrilled to have secured such an ideally-located property with BlueSugar Corp, and we appreciate the confidence that The City of Newark has placed in us,” said Alberto Goncalves, CEO of Life Assets Development. “We believe Rise Living will be a complementary addition to the City’s multi-billion-dollar revitalization plan, and we look forward to creating a community of value that taps into the neighborhood’s full potential.”

The project will transform several properties along 19th Avenue, South 16th Street, and South 17th Street into modern housing. The buildings within the Rise Living complex will additionally feature a fitness center, business center, charging stations for electric vehicles, and ground floor parking spaces.

Latifah, born in Newark and raised in nearby East Orange, has kept busy outside of her real estate ventures. She currently stars in CBS drama “The Equalizer,” which has utilized a variety of Garden State locations including Jersey City and East Rutherford to shoot scenes.

The versatile entertainer rose to fame as a rapper in the 1990s and later starred in the TV series “Living Single.” Queen Latifah’s diverse career includes Grammy, Emmy, and Golden Globe wins plus an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 2002 film adaptation of Chicago.

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