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"Sherman Phoenix" invests $2.5 million in neighborhood hub for black-owned businesses

Rising from the ashes -- a new project is funneling $2.5 million dollars into Sherman Park redevelopment.

"We want a space that we can share. A space that we can come together that reflects our heritage, our culture, and our life," said Ald. Khalif Rainey.

The "Sherman Phoenix" will create a neighborhood hub to support black-owned businesses in the area.

Last year's unrest damaged several businesses including the BMO Harris Bank on 35th and Fond du Lac.

The project will restore the bank building and turn it into a high-end commercial space for entrepreneurs of color.

"This is a movement of collective action to bring points of possibility. So we have some lead investors who have brought some capital to the table but we're going to open this up to community neighbors who can invest equity into this project and become an owner," said Juli Kaufmann and JoAnne Sabir with The Sherman Phoenix.

"My administration is making neighborhood investments a priority, neighborhood investments that make a difference," said Mayor Barrett.

The bank building has been in Sherman Park for more than 90 years.Twelve black-owned businesses have already committed to work out of the space. They will offer food. wellness services, and arts and cultural offerings. 

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