Milwaukee Admirals named signature sponsor of downtown dog park

Professional hockey team follows title sponsor Fromm Family Pet Foods with significant donation

Downtown Milwaukee Dog Park rendering

The planned Downtown Milwaukee Dog Park has received another donation – this time from The Milwaukee Admirals.

The Milwaukee Downtown Business Improvement District, which is leading fundraising and planning efforts for the park, announced Thursday that the professional hockey team has been named a signature sponsor.

“As a team that is active in the community, we understand the important role that pets play in people’s lives. For this reason, we’ve had serious interest in supporting the project from the beginning,” said Harris Turer, owner and CEO of the Milwaukee Admirals Hockey Club, in a press release. “We are excited to join other business leaders in improving the quality of life for the greater Milwaukee dog community and their owners with the addition of this much-needed amenity.”

The park’s title sponsor is Mequon-based From Family Pet Foods, whose affiliate Foxtown Brewing, is developing Foxtown Landing next to the dog park site at St. Paul and Plankinton avenues along the Milwaukee River. The 28,000-square-foot complex is slated to include a 3-story building featuring a restaurant, tap room, distillery, and outdoor seating.

Slated to be constructed immediately to the north of Foxtown Landing site – at the southeast corner of North Plankinton Avenue and West Clybourn Street (under the I-794 overpass) – the dog park is being designed by Milwaukee-based GRAEF. Plans for the park 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.

The land is owned by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, but the dog park group is working with the state agency to work out a long-term use agreement similar to what is in place at Riverwalk Commons.

The two sites will be tied together by a 400-foot segment of new public RiverWalk spanning from St. Paul Avenue to Clybourn Street.

Although the BID declined to disclose the amount of the Admirals’ donation, Matt Dorner, economic development director for the Milwaukee Downtown BID said it was “significant.”

Being a signature donor, the park won’t be named for the Admirals – that honor will go to Fromm – but Dorner said there will likely be “some customized feature in the park that is branded” for the team.

“There will also be a donor wall incorporated into the site,” he said. “That is really the fun stuff –devising into how to honor these sponsors. We will likely be making additional sponsor announcements in the coming weeks.”

Although fundraising for the dog park will likely continue well past its construction, just in a smaller form, Dorner said the group hopes to have enough funds raised to start preliminary site construction work by the end of the year.

The hope is to coordinate that early construction with the heavier foundation work that will be needed to prep the Foxtown Landing site, so that pet owners can begin enjoying the park by next spring.

Cara covers nonprofits, healthcare and education for BizTimes. Cara lives in Waukesha with her husband, a teenager, a toddler, a dog named Neutron, a bird named Potter, and a lizard named Peyoye. She loves music, food, and comedy, but not necessarily in that order.

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