Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Dohmen Foundation Moving to King Drive

Unique foundation buying former Fein Brothers building.

By - Dec 10th, 2020 03:02 pm
2007 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Photo from the City of Milwaukee Assessor's website.

2007 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Photo from the City of Milwaukee Assessor’s website.

The Dohmen Company Foundation will relocate to Bronzeville from the Historic Third Ward. It’s the third foundation to announce a move to the neighborhood in recent years.

“This is the perfect location for us for many reasons,” said Kathy Koshgarian, foundation president and chief operating officer, in a statement announcing the move.

The foundation will acquire the two-story, 34,000-square-foot commercial building, long home to Fein Brothers restaurant supply store, at 2007 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. The supply company recently moved a couple buildings north to 2023 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

“Dohmen has called Milwaukee home for the past 162 years, so we’re honored to be able to preserve an iconic piece of Milwaukee’s rich architectural history and to become part of a vibrant community like Bronzeville,” said Koshgarian. “We’re also very much looking forward to collaborating with our new neighbors to realize our vision of healthy communities powered by healthy people.”

The King Drive building will also be home to Dohmen’s new Food for Health program. The program, currently in beta with Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, aims to use medically-tailored meals to reverse chronic disease.

“I can personally attest to the power of addressing chronic health issues with food and lifestyle changes,” said Koshgarian. “I’ve seen the results first hand. I’m proud to lead an organization that sees the importance of empowering all people with the tools they need to lead a healthy life, because healthy communities are powered by healthy people.”

The charitable foundation, as of 2019, is the sole owner of the for-profit The Dohmen Company. The formerly family-owned company was transitioned to become the country’s first philanthropic enterprise under the Philanthropic Enterprise Act of 2018 after selling off its life science services division. The structure assures all profits go towards charity.

The health-centric company was founded in 1858 in the Historic Third Ward and continues to operate in the neighborhood.

The foundation acquired the King Drive building for $895,000 according to state records. It will rehabilitate the building before relocating in 2021. It is currently located at 215 N. Water St. in a building Dohmen formerly owned.

State records indicate the building was constructed in 1892 for Schuster’s department store under designs from the firm of Schnetzky & Liebert. It was reclad in terra cotta in a hybrid Moorish-Beaux Art Deco style in 1929 with designs provided by the firm of Lindl & Schutte.

Dohmen will join Bader Philanthropies, which purchased and redeveloped a building at 3300 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in 2018. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation will relocate to the ThriveOn Collaboration, an $84.5 million redevelopment of another Schuster’s department store at 2153 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in 2022.

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