Mayor Shares Plans for Walmart Site - WBAY

Mayor Shares Plans for Walmart Site

Green Bay -
It's well-known Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt opposes a big-box store like Walmart on the Larsen Green site on Broadway on the city's near-west side.

"We owe it to this community to take some time and come up with the right plan," said Schmitt.

Thursday the mayor presented three ideas of what he sees fit on the site.

One focused on residential units, another on office and retail space, and the third proposed a baseball stadium and centered around entertainment. The mayor said he feels having residential space is very important in any plan.

The plans aren't set in stone.

"Within each of these plans there are puzzle pieces that can be melted together and shifted around," said City Planning Director Kim Flom.

Schmitt and Flom said each plan would keep the iconic downtown warehouses.

Schmitt said he feels these plans can start to become a reality soon."We feel confident that if the city is patient, another two or three years, that we could deliver the beginnings of this project," Schmitt said.

But critics said there aren't any developers stepping up to make the plans happen.

"It's going to take more than at least three years, I think. It might take ten years. It might take 15. Will it work? Eventually," said Alderman Tom De Wane.

Supporters think differently.

"The whole purpose of this is to be flexible because it really depends on your developers," said Alderman Randy Scannell.

"After 12 years, I know when the interest is high in an area and when it's not, and it is in this area," said Schmitt.

If the area isn't developed within the next few years, the mayor said he'll go back to the drawing board.

"If nothing happens in three years and the interest isn't there, I think big-box may still be there and maybe we could go back to that," Schmitt said. "I don't see that happening, but I understand there's calculated risk with the city getting into this."
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