Two Green Bay housing projects address dire needs

GREEN BAY, Wis (WBAY) -- Two housing plans in the City of Green Bay are moving forward.

Miller Land Investments is planning to build a four story, 100 unit market rate apartment building along the Fox River in the historic Astor Park Neighborhood.

The redevelopment authority (RDA) is moving ahead with Gorman and Company’s proposal to build a grocery store and a mix of affordable and market rate housing in the downtown area.

The committee has also approved a development agreement for a new apartment complex in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods.

“I like to find unique properties that can be one of a kind, and this is my favorite one so far,” said Dean Miller of Miller Land Investments.

He’s planning to build a four-story, 100-unit market-rate apartment building along the Fox River in the historic Astor Park Neighborhood.

“It's offering a new opportunity to be in the neighborhood and it offers something without having to buy a single family house,” said Development Director Kevin Vonck.

Miller plans to demolish the current building on the site and raise the apartment building off of the floodplain.

“The foundation itself is sand, and we're going to have build up the foundation just like you would have to on any other project like the Shipyard,” said Miller.

That’s all part of phase one of the project, which also includes the reconstruction of the Fox River Trail around the building.

Miller plans to make it a hub for the outdoor enthusiast.

“Large number of bike lockers, canoe lockers, anything to do with the outdoors. I think that will be our niche that will separate us from some of the other properties.”

Miller says the total cost of the project is in the $20 million range.

Gorman & Company is designing a five-story townhouse building on what is now a parking lot at the corner of Monroe Ave. and Pine St., kitty-corner from the Brown County Central Library. The project would create 56 affordable housing units and 24 market-rate units.

Vonck believes this housing project coupled with the Maurer’s Market and housing downtown will help the city meet a dire housing need.

“Numbers have shown that Brown County itself is probably 1,500 to 2,000 units short in housing supply, so what we're trying to do is fulfill that need by bringing these additional units online,” said Vonck.

Both projects will use tax incremental financing (TIF) for funding.

One Astor Park is looking for about $4 million in TIF money, and Gorman and Company is planning to apply for $10 million in tax credits through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). Applications are due in December, with rewards given out in April of 2020.

Wisconsin-based Maurer's Market has been working with the developers on the Monroe Ave. project for the last year.

"What I like is really the engagement from the city so far and the neighborhood and really that sense of looking for a grocer as well was looking to be part of the neighborhood," Maurer's Market vice president Kristie Maurer said.