Downtown development approved by city council
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – A proposed grocery store and apartment building development downtown was approved by the city council at its Tuesday, June 29, meeting.
“I think we have in front of us a pretty exciting project,” Mayor Eric Genrich said. “It checks a lot of boxes for Alder (Randy) Scannell’s district, our downtown and for our community at large. I personally don’t see a downside to this development at all.”
The five-story, mixed-use project is planned for the 2.4-acre former Associated Bank parking lot in the 200 block of North Monroe Avenue.
Economic Development Director Neil Stechschulte said the project is estimated to cost $22 million and would include 172 market-rate units – a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, a 15,000-square-foot ground-level grocery store and approximately 7,000 additional square feet of retail space.
“This is a good project,” District 9 Alderperson Brian Johnson said. “I said this at the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) and I’ll say it again – the design is impeccable… I think this is a really good development for the City of Green Bay.”
The developer is requesting a percentage of the tax increment district (TID) increment available for the life of the TID on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The city will need to create a new TID that will include this project with a base year starting Jan. 1, 2022, to fund the assistance for this project.
The council approved one amendment to the original agreement approved by the RDA last month.
“The original RDA recommendation was an 80% annual increment to the developer with 20% going to the city after the city’s acquisition costs would be recovered on an upfront basis,” Stechschulte said.
He said after further discussion with the developer, staff realized the developer would essentially have to wait until 2027 to get their first round of assistance for the project.
“So staff and the developer went back to the drawing board,” he said. “Instead of setting it 80/20, we set it at 75% to the developer, 8% being set aside for debt service on an annual basis and 17% still coming to the city. It certainly would have been nice to recover that all upfront first, however, this still does allow the city to recover that initial land acquisition cost, it just does so over the life of the (TID) district.”
The monthly rent for studio apartments will be $1,100-$1,150 a month.
One-bedroom units will run around $1,400-$1,450 a month.
Two bedrooms will go for about $1,695-$1,795 a month.
Three-bedroom apartments will be slightly more than $2,000 a month.
Genrich said he will continue to advocate for affordable housing within the city, but said economic diversity in neighborhoods is also important.
“We want people of all income levels and backgrounds mixing and mingling in our downtown and our community at large,” he said. “I know there are a lot of opinions in the community about this and about affordable housing and I totally respect that, and there is a huge need for more of it and I’ll continue to advocate for that. But this project, in-and-of-itself, stands on its own in a really positive light and I’m really excited about it.”
Stechschulte said the project is projected to be completed before the end of 2024.
Electric scooters are headed to the streets of Green Bay potentially as early as this weekend, following the unanimous approval of a pilot program by the city council.
“We’ve been thinking and talking about this for some time,” Genrich said.
The program is similar to one already running in the City of Appleton.
Green Bay will start with 100 scooters, which will only operate within city limits.
Bird Rides Inc. is an app-based, dockless scooter sharing program based out of Santa Monica, California.
Riders locate a scooter within the city through the mobile app.
Once payment information is entered, and the QR code is scanned, riders can utilize the scooter in the program area, leaving it at their destination.
E-scooters can reach speeds of 15 miles an hour, are available for use 24 hours a day and open to riders aged 8 and up.
Riders aged 6 and 7 are permitted to ride during daylight hours with parental supervision.
Scooters will be regulated similarly to bicycles.
Riders should utilize bike lanes or stay on the far right side of the driving lane.
Scooters are not permitted to drive on sidewalks.
Police chief finalists named
The Police and Fire Commission named four finalists in the search for Green Bay’s next police chief, following Andrew Smith’s retirement at the beginning of May.
The finalists include:
• Benjamin Allen, a 20-year veteran of the Green Bay Police Department, currently serving as captain of the Investigations Division.
• Christopher Davis, a 22-year veteran of the Portland Police Department, currently serving as deputy chief.
• David Salazar, a 25-year veteran of the Milwaukee Police Department, currently serving as captain/commander of the District 2 Patrol Bureau.
• Kevin Warych, a 20-year veteran of the Green Bay Police Department, currently serving as commander of operations.
“We are pleased to have four quality finalists for the police chief position and look forward to more detailed discussions with each candidate,” Commission President Rod Goldhahn said. “For many years, Green Bay has been blessed with an outstanding police department, supported by the community and our elected officials, and we are excited to choose a new chief that will continue that tradition.”
Written biographies and brief video introductions of each candidate can be found online.
The commission is looking to the public for its input regarding the skills and attributes desired of the next police chief.
Listening sessions are planned for:
• July 6 from noon to 1 p.m. virtually
• July 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Auditorium/Room SC130
• July 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Casa ALBA Melanie, 314 S. Madison St.
• July 14 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. virtually
• July 15 at Boys & Girls Club Lutsey Unit – East Side Clubhouse, 1451 University Ave.
Comments may also be submitted via email to [email protected], or by mail or hand-delivered to:
Police and Fire Commission
C/O Human Resources
100 N. Jefferson St., Room 500
Green Bay, WI 54301
Comments may also be submitted by providing a callback number to 920-448-3147, and a commissioner will return the call within 48 hours.
For more information, contact Goldhahn at 920-468-1975.
A final decision on the new police chief will be made after in-person interviews scheduled for late July.