A high-profile Newark native was back in the Brick City this week to help celebrate a development that will transform several properties located near the border with Irvington into mixed-use spaces.
On April 26, Dana Owens — better known as Queen Latifah — was on hand to celebrate the next phase of work at Rise Living, a collaboration between Life Assets Development, Gonsosa and BlueSugar Corp., which was co-founded by Owens.
Rise Living will eventually bring 76 residential units and 1,900 square feet of ground-floor space designated for nonprofit organizations.
Joining Owens for the Tuesday event were Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Deputy Mayor Allison Ladd, Newark Museum Director and CEO Linda Harrison, and Life Assets Development founder and CEO Alberto Goncalves, among others.
“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,” Goncalves said in a statement. “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.”
Work for the project started at 650 Springfield Ave. in January. The project will convert 18 lots on 19th Avenue, South 16th Street and South 17th Street into five lots with the new buildings set to include a fitness center, business center, charging stations for Electric Vehicles and ground floor parking spaces. Additional amenities will provide residents with touchless entry, free common-area WiFi, online portals to submit maintenance requests or rent payments, in-unit washers and dryers, hardwood floors, air conditioning, stainless steel appliances, and more.
The downtown location also puts future residents a short walk from Newark’s downtown with green space nearby at West Side Park.
The project received planning board approval in February 2019. In July 2020 it was approved by the City Council for tax abatements to accelerate Rise Living’s development.
Market-rate rents will start at $1,800 and 16 units will be set aside as affordable housing. Pre-leasing for Rise Living is expected to launch in July."