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Movin' On Up

Neighborhood renewals open new doors for entrepreneurs.

This story appears in the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Trina Sheridan cried when her husband-to-be, Sean, bought a building in a decayed neighborhood north of downtown Chicago with plans to open a business. "I was very depressed," says Sheridan, 41, recalling the gangs, graffiti and crumbling storefronts around the two-story retail and living space. That was in 1998. By 2002, the Andersonville neighborhood was experiencing a renaissance, and the Sheridans opened a cookware store there.

Today, the Sheridans preside over a healthy business with four employees and six-figure sales growing 10 percent annually. An increasing number of new businesses are moving into the reviving neighborhood. "There used to be a lot of vacant stores and businesses that people didn't take care of," Trina says. "And they're all gone."

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