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Sherman Phoenix success rises from the ashes of unrest and violence

Posted: 9:45 PM, Nov 30, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-01 03:45:43Z

The BMO Harris Bank building that burned during the violence in Sherman Park, two years ago, has gotten a second chance at life. It has come back from the ashes to become the Sherman Phoenix.

Now it's holding the dreams of small business owners and helping to unite the community.

Adija Smith's bakery, Confectionately Yours by GGG, is officially a brick and mortar store. It's a dream she has been chasing since childhood.

"I have been baking since I was a very young child, you know baking cookies for my family setting up tables outside the room, selling it for monopoly money," said Smith.

But on Friday it's real money she is collecting inside the Sherman Phoenix. 

Joann Sabir and her co-developer of the Sherman Phoenix at first wanted a few businesses to open inside the building. That number has now grown to 29.

"Sherman Park is an amazing asset rich community and here were are," said Sabir. 

Everything from gourmet popcorn to spring rolls, clothes and a barbershop, are all inside. Sabir discounted the rent to allow places like Smith's to get a good start.

"It's for neighbors, absolutely. It's for elders who can walk over here. It's our folks who are coming down Fond Du Lac who live in Menomonee. It's for all of us," said Sabir.

For Smith, this is a chance for her Sherman Park neighborhood to continue to heal after the destruction.

"It was so heartbreaking, but I can understand that the people were coming from a place of pain so I'm so excited that the pain they endured they can see peace after that storm," said Smith.

Sherman Phoenix at 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave. is now open to the public. Each store sets its own hours but the building is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.