Harbor District Inc. announced Rockwell has pledged $600,000 to the project and the Brico Fund will donate $250,000.
“Rockwell Automation has a rich company history in the community and our immediate neighborhood,” said Blake Moret, chairman and chief executive officer of Rockwell Automation. “This plaza will provide a unique recreational and educational destination for our employees, members of the greater Milwaukee community and region”
The project has also been backed by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Prairie Springs – The Paul Fleckenstein Trust and Herb Kohl Charities.
The gifts from Rockwell and the Brico Fund bring the total fundraising for the project to $1.13 million. Harbor District is aiming to raise $1.5 million.
“At the Brico Fund, we wanted to make sure that redevelopment efforts in the Harbor District lived up to the extraordinary potential of the location, but also that the outcomes were community-driven,” said Lynde Uihlein, president of the Brico Fund.
Members of Harbor District Inc. have been planning in recent years to revitalize the neglected 970-acre area located just south of Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward by adding more public space, amenities and access to the waterfront.
A response to neighborhood input and a public design competition, the organization is planning to build the public plaza on the inner harbor at the eastern end of Greenfield Avenue.
Plans for the plaza include a lookout tower, children’s play area, kayak/canoe launch, and picnic and seating areas.
“We view this as the first step in connecting south side neighborhoods with their waterfront,” said Ivan Gamboa Harbor District board president.
Construction is slated to be completed in time for Harbor Fest, which will be held Sept. 8.