Green Bay breaks ground on Shipyard District
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Years in the planning, a groundbreaking ceremony took place Thursday morning for a multi-million dollar project to revitalize Green Bay’s waterfront.
Dozens of state, county and city leaders joined the ceremony, christening the first phase of Green Bay’s Shipyard District.
“It’s not just helping a piece of my district. This helps places all over the state that want to redevelop. This is something that has been sitting empty for many, many years,” state Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) said.
City officials say they’ve owned this industrial site along Broadway and Mason St. since the early 1990s. While over there years there have been many discussions about doing something with the land, this time officials were able to execute those plans.
“Ultimately you have to come to a consensus. That means people have to compromise, and compromise can be difficult sometimes,” Cowles said.
The first phase of the city’s Shipyard project is an $8.8 million investment by the city. It will include floating docks, a kayak launch, splash pads and several other amenities.
Two developers, Merge Urban Development and Impact Seven, are constructing apartment buildings in this area as well, totaling $80 million.
Mayor Eric Genrich says this site will serve a community that is one of the poorest in Green Bay and has been largely neglected.
“Industry will continue to be a really critical part of Green Bay’s future and our economy, but we also have to figure out how to coexist and also develop amenities that are accessible to people of all income levels,” the mayor said.
City officials acknowledged during the ceremony that the land along the shipyard belonged to the Menominee Indian tribe, which used it for wild rice.
Ron Corn, chairman of the Menominee Nation, said, “[I] appreciate their efforts and appreciate them acknowledging us as the original people of this area.”
“We’re already looking towards next year, which will be phase two, which will predominately funded through a $5 million grant from the National Park Service. And that’ll include more of the great lawn, some other amenities, playground equipment,” Alderman Brian Johnson said.
The great lawn will be used to host concerts and festivals. There will also be a dog park.
Mayor Genrich said, “Maybe people didn’t think it was a possibility to develop this highly industrial site, but we see a lot of potential here both here in the immediate Shipyard but also to the south.”
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