Queen Latifah is latest celebrity to invest in Newark development

By Eric Strauss
Newark | Feb 20, 2019 at 9:55 am

Move over, Shaq, there’s another celebrity ready to join the Newark real estate rush.

Actress and musician Queen Latifah, like basketball superstar Shaquille O’Neal, is spearheading a residential development project in the city, according to a news release Wednesday.

An overview of the project.

Queen Latifah, whose real name is Dana Owens, is a Newark native who is serving as co-president of developer BlueSugar Corp., which has paired up with Roselle Park-based GonSosa Development on the project in the area of Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street. The as-yet-unnamed project is slated to include 76 residential units, with 20 three-family townhomes — market-rate rentals — plus 16 affordable housing units in a mixed-use property that would also house nonprofit community organizations in 1,900 square feet of ground-floor rental space.

Construction includes three planned phases, starting with the 60-unit development, which would be completed by December 2020, and ending with the mixed-use portion, which would be completed in December 2021.

The joint venture includes BlueSugar’s co-presidents, Owens and Shakim Compere, as well as Vice President Tammy Hammond, who is leading the project. GonSosa’s leaders as Alberto Goncalves and Ricardo Sosa.

The project has already received planning board approval.

Owens will serve as a “silent investor,” the release noted.

O’Neal, also a Newark native, is a partner in Boraie Development’s One Rector Street, dubbed “Shaq Towers.”

Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | acerimrat