Mequon-based Foxtown Brewing, an affiliate of Mequon-based dog food maker Fromm Nieman Brands has received approval for a certificate of appropriateness from the Third Ward Architectural Review Board for its plans to build a 28,000-square-foot, restaurant, tap room and distillery located northeast of St. Paul and Plankinton avenues along the Milwaukee River. The vote came Wednesday afternoon, following a roughly hour-long presentation from the project’s architect, Stephen Perry Smith. The long-vacant site — currently held by a private owner — is located adjacent to the proposed Downtown Dog Park site. Called Foxtown Landing, the three-story development would feature expansive pet-friendly outdoor spaces overlooking the river, a press release states, as well as a rooftop patio and balcony. Describing various elements of the building on Wednesday, Smith said the goal is to let as much outdoor light into the building as possible to give patrons as sense of being outside, even during cold and inclement weather. “Even during winter months there will be a lot of daylight,” Smith said. The Fromm Family had initially hoped to use reclaimed cream city brick to construct the building, Smith said, but since there is not enough of that left to construct a whole building, have pivoted to a cream-colored cut limestone that Smith said will blend well with other buildings in the neighborhood. “(We know the goal is not to) embalm the past but design a building that integrates well into the Historic Third Ward,” he added. Dog park As the Fromm Family works to perfect the design for the brewery and gain the necessary city-level approvals, local dog lovers will continue to push for the development of the dog park. And they’ll have a close partner in Fromm. Leaders of the effort recently announced that Fromm Family Pet Food will be the title sponsor of the future off-leash dog park, which will be located on a long vacant site under the I-794 freeway between the Milwaukee River and Plankinton Avenue, just north of the Foxtown Landing site and south of Clybourn Street. “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 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, city-owned parcel. The dog park plans, designed by Milwaukee-based 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. 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, according to the press release.
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