Fromm Nieman Brands plans Foxtown Brewery development on vacant Third Ward riverfront site
Mequon-based Foxtown Brewing, an affiliate of Fromm Nieman Brands, announced today their concept plan to build a 28,000-square-foot development on a vacant site at the northeast corner of St. Paul Avenue and Plankinton Avenue, along the Milwaukee River and adjacent to the proposed downtown dog park. Slated to be named Foxtown Landing, the development will include a multi-story building which will house a taproom, distillery, and restaurant with expansive pet-friendly outdoor spaces overlooking the river, as well as a rooftop patio and balcony.
This announcement marks a major milestone for the downtown dog park as project leaders reveal Fromm Family Pet Food as the title sponsor of the future off-leash dog park, which will be adjacent to the Foxtown Landing development, located on a long vacant site under the I-794 freeway between the Milwaukee River and Plankinton Avenue. While fundraising continues, the latest announcement is a significant boost to those efforts.
“Milwaukee is rich in history, as is the Fromm brand and our family. When we learned about the dog park project, we began exploring the larger opportunity to develop a true ‘dog district’ where people and their pets can gather along the river at the nexus of where the Historic Third Ward and Downtown meet,” said Tom Nieman, President of Fromm Family Pet Food. “With dog ownership rapidly increasing in recent years in the greater downtown area, we see this as a natural fit for us and a game changer for the City of Milwaukee.”
The dog park and adjoining commercial development would cohesively reinvent one of the few remaining sections of land along Milwaukee River frontage into a substantial new development that would contribute to the City of Milwaukee’s property tax base and add a much-needed amenity for area dog owners. The overall project would also be tied together by a nearly 400-foot segment of new public riverwalk.
The Foxtown Landing development and riverwalk connections would be subject to Fromm acquiring the narrow, adjacent city-owned parcel to the south along St. Paul Avenue. The comprehensive project, including Foxtown Landing, the public dog park and the riverwalk expansion, will redevelop nearly 1.4 acres of vacant land, spanning from St. Paul Avenue to Clybourn Street.
Efforts to build downtown’s first dog park are being co-led by Matt Dorner, Economic Development Director of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, and Paul Schwartz, Executive Director of the Milwaukee Public Market and Third Ward, BID #2. The dual announcement is a major breakthrough for the districts they represent, significantly enhancing the initial dog park concept into a multi-faceted public-private partnership that will create a new social hub for people and their pets.
“This is a generational opportunity to reinvent a long dormant, underutilized, but highly visible area of downtown into what will be a true destination that enhances downtown’s quality of life and bridges the gap between the Historic Third Ward and Westown neighborhoods,” said Dorner.
“This is a significant milestone for the project and certainly a bode of confidence from one of the country’s largest specialty pet food manufacturing companies,” added Schwartz. “Fromm Family Pet Food has a widely respected reputation as a business leader, pet food innovator and community builder which they’ve built over five generations as a family-owned and operated company. We’re thrilled to have them provide their leadership and vision as our title sponsor and are grateful for their investment in this legacy project.”
Fromm is no stranger to downtown and investing in the region. This year they celebrated their 9th annual Fromm Petfest at Henry Maier Festival Park, a staple of the Milwaukee festival season, and continue to build their multi-phase town center in Mequon where the company is headquartered.
Signing on as a title sponsor for the downtown dog park is another display of community support by Fromm and gets the dog park closer to meeting its fundraising goal. Once fully funded, construction will begin to fulfill the long overdue amenity in the downtown area, as well as transform the corridor adjacent to one of the busiest entrances into downtown and the Historic Third Ward. The dog park plans, designed by GRAEF, include separately fenced small and large dog areas, water stations, upgraded lighting, the potential for public art, opportunities for community programming, prominent donor recognition, and other pet amenities.
Scott Welsh of Colliers is representing Fromm in the purchase of the long vacant site. Welsh was an early supporter of the dog park efforts and saw the opportunity to complement the project by leading the pitch to Fromm ownership about the larger vision that includes the adjacent private property for a dog-friendly food and beverage development.
Additional information about the development, including project timelines, will be revealed at a later date. For more information about Foxtown Brewery or Fromm Family Pet Food, please visit www.foxtownbrewing.com and www.frommfamily.com. For more information about the dog park project, including sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.MKEDogPark.com.