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Partnership is key in Resch Square project

Former Green Bay Mayor Paul Jadin
Former Green Bay Mayor Paul Jadin said that connecting the downtown area was also behind the creation of On Broadway itself. John Craemer photo



GREEN BAY – On Broadway’s downtown public market — now known as Resch Square — is expected to be open in time for the 2025 NFL Draft.

Fundraising on the space, located at 211 North Broadway, has surpassed 60% of its fundraising goal of $12.5 million and demolition is already underway.

The Richard J. Resch Foundation was announced March 20 as the project’s lead donor and will hold the naming rights for the facility.

Garritt Bader, On Broadway Board of Directors member, recalled the project’s launch two years ago during a March 20 annoucement event.

“… it was January 2022 when we announced our vision to open this Green Bay Public Market facility. We — at On Broadway — decided to take the torch and make this facility happen,” he said.

“On April 22, just about two years ago, we bought this building.”

“A theme today is going to be partners,” he said during the announcement. “Many partners helped make this project happen because these just don’t happen on their own. I can’t tell you myself or those that are working on this how many times we’ve heard, ‘Well, is that going to happen?’ Yes, it is.

Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich reiterated his, and the city’s, support of the project.

“I’m really excited about the partners that have been made. As far as the capital campaign is concerned, a lot of great folks have been involved, as Garrett said, partnership is the key word today,” he added.

“As somebody who’s done a little bit of traveling around the country, visited a good number of public markets, I certainly understand the vitality that they bring, especially to downtowns all across the country and the world.

“So whatever we can do from the city’s perspective, from my personal perspective, we’re going to continue to push forward on this because we understand the importance of this project, not just to downtown Green Bay, not just to Green Bay, but to Brown County and the region as a whole. This is a real driver of tourism dollars, of beds and heads, as we say, and so we’re going to continue to push forward because we understand how valuable this is going to be to the future, the vitality of this entire region.”

Reconnecting the community

The public market will encompass a city block from Broadway to Dousman to Chestnut to Hubbard streets.

“We want to reconnect, essentially, these neighborhoods immediately west of Broadway, which have not seen the most love in recent decades, and reactivate our proximate connection to the east with this as the center. So the square is going to be very prominent, it’s going to be a very big part of our Broadway district and our city,” Bader explained.

And reconnecting was behind the creation of On Broadway itself.

“It’s a great honor for me, standing where I was in 1995 when I brought the city council here… and I outlined exactly what we were going to be doing in terms of the community Main Street status, and then creating On Broadway, and then trying to resurrect the street,” said former Green Bay Mayor Paul Jadin.

Branding and structure

A three-bed public market doesn’t happen without a brand. Every major project needs that,” said On Broadway Executive Director Brian Johnson.

Johnson said that the public market will be owned and operated by On Broadway, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

“There are no private owners in this development, and I think that needs to be said because this is what makes the most successful public markets around the country. So we have modeled ourselves very closely after Milwaukee,” he explained.

“And the Milwaukee public market is owned and operated by the Third Ward Business Improvement District. So this is not a model that we’re creating from scratch. There is a reason the private sector is not taking on a project like this.”

The impact

“We’ve worked with our partners over at Discover Green Bay, and we’ve created some estimates around annual economic impact. We believe the annual economic impact of this facility will be over $65 million a year,” Johnson said.

“It’s going to generate over $50,000 of local sales tax every single year. So that half a percent that goes on top of the state, that’s $50,000 a year every single year.”

Johnson said that fundraising will continue through the end of the year.

“And if we get done sooner, awesome,” he added.

“When we first went public with this, there was an immense amount of public interest from businesses. We received over 70 inquiries, 70 folks that responded and said, ‘I’m interested in space in the public market.’ However, the partnerships will also extend to the individuals leasing the market spaces.

 “We are not chasing any tenant that will be willing to sign a lease. This is about having the right combination,” Johnson explained.

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