By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 14, 2023 at 1:01 PM

Since it was announced in November that Fromm Nieman Brands – which owns Fromm Family Pet Foods and Foxtown Brewery in Mequon – purchased not only the naming rights for a planned Downtown dog park, but also the adjacent vacant riverfront lot for a new taproom and restaurant, the project has been moving forward incrementally.

That means Fromm has been gaining requisite approvals for its Foxtown Landing development, arranging the purchase of a 30-foot slice of City of Milwaukee-owned property along St. Paul Avenue and working out details – with GRAEF – of things like work on the seawall along the river and the RiverWalk.

On Wednesday, Fromm and its architect, Stephen Perry Smith Architects, returned to the Third Ward Architectural Review Board, which had initially approved the plan, in order to provide an update and updated renderings.

The new plans in general look quite similar, with the biggest change appearing to be alterations to the RiverWalk and the addition of a seawall. Here is the earlier rendering for comparison with a new view of the same view that can be seen at the top of this post.

old rendering
Previous rendering for comparison with the image at the top of the article.

Fromm now plans to raise the grade by three feet to eliminate stairs that had been closest to the building, and a ramp has been moved to the north side of the building.

Raising the grade allows the outdoor terrace to be at the same level as the first floor of the building, improving flow of people between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

There will be a plaza of brick pavers between the building and the dog park to the north.

A node that projects out over the river will lead down to a floating dock for boats. The node will require permission from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The concrete RiverWalk along the dog park will be consistent with the RiverWalk along Foxtown Landing.

The City of Milwaukee Plan Commission will discuss the dog park and Foxtown Landing proposals, including RiverWalk and site plans, at its next meeting, Monday, June 26 meeting at 1:30 p.m. at 809 N. Broadway.

In addition, the dog park also appears to have gained a number of walking paths through the play area.

Parking at the dog park has been replaced with programmable space, eliminating any issues of cars crossing the pedestrian plaza.

A cedar enclosure on the dog park site will hide some We Energies ventilation equipment that must remain on site.

At the review board meeting, discussion of the Black Nite memorial suggested that all parties are in favor of the memorial, but the details of its design and location have not yet been determined.

The site is the city's first LGBT historic landmark.

Updated Foxtown Landing and dog park renderings:

updated renderingX
updated site planX
updated site planX
view to the west
Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.