Green Bay city council approves plan to improve residential areas surrounding The Shipyard
The Green Bay city council approves an investment plan to improve residential areas surrounding The Shipyard. The $1 million commitment was allocated as part of the project. Funding for the plan comes from the city’s neighborhood enhancement fund and various government grants.
The Shipyard property is located along the west side of the Fox River off of Broadway, next to the Mason Street Bridge. Preliminary plans for the Shipyard Project include space for retail, events and an urban beach with playground and splash pad.
The residential areas included in the revitalization strategy are the neighborhoods between Mason and Walnut Streets, west of the Fox River going all the way back to Ashland Avenue.
City officials say the $1 million neighborhood investment plan will be distributed over the next three years as the city sees fit. Each year the city hopes to invest more than $300,000 in the neighborhood surrounding the Shipyard. The funds are available to help existing property owners in the area improve their homes or businesses through grants and rehabilitation loans.
Green Bay's Economic Development Director, Kevin Vonck says city teams have assessed homes and businesses near the shipyard, and says a good amount of them needed exterior repairs.
According to Vonck that particular neighborhood has nearly 60-percent lower values than the rest of the median property values in the city.
"In terms of you know, with us putting our investment in the area, we'd like those owners to be able to take advantage of rising property values in the area and help some funds to improve their properties and really elevate the tax base you know for this neighborhood," Vonck says.
On top of increasing tax base, Vonck hopes the funds will improve infrastructure needs as well.
Alderman Brian Johnson says the success of the neighborhood is a crucial part to the shipyard development as a whole.
"What we're trying to do is take care of a number of the residents in that area that have some aging housing and needed repair but also there's the infrastructure aspect. The infrastructure is a key component to this piece, taking a look at the streets, maybe the trees and the right of way, looking at how our intersections are operating over there, we want to make sure that everything in that part of the development is well taken care of," Johnson says.
As for the bulk of the Shipyard Project, which include the community amenities, Vonck says consultants are now in the engineering aspect. Based on last month's public input session, Vonck expects to have a conceptual plan done and have another input session held within the upcoming weeks.