Entrepreneurs hope to grow in building burned in Sherman Park unrest

There's new hope for an old building destroyed by fire during the Sherman Park violence in 2016.  It's being rebuilt to help people dream big and own their own business.    

"I am so excited," said Joanna Brooks with Embody Yoga.

She will be one of 20 new businesses that will call The Sherman Phoenix home thanks to a team effort from city, county, state and community leaders.  

"The value here is a culture that has people who are local building businesses learning from each other," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

It was nearly two years ago this former bank building was destroyed by fire during the Sherman Park Violence. A $250,000 state grant will go a long way toward rebuilding this new entrepreneurial and wellness hub.

"Out of the ashes today rises potentially 20 new businesses," said Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

But it's not just about creating new businesses. 

Co-developer Juli Kaufmann says it's about creating new opportunities for part of the city that needs more local ownership and community supported jobs.

"We are not only raising up in partnerships and businesses," said Kaufmann. "They are raising up employees and together paychecks and bottom lines that recirculate in Sherman Park and beyond and that wealth stays here." 

"We are able to grow our entrepreneurs that now rest at 20 plus, folks that will stand within this space and grow," said co-developer JoAnne Sabir. 

The project is expected to create up to 75 jobs and construction should be finished by the fall of this year.

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