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GB mayor to meet with Walmart reps Tuesday

A meeting between store leaders and Mayor Jim Schmitt is scheduled to discuss plans for a downtown location.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Representatives from Walmart will be back in Green Bay Tuesday. A meeting between store leaders and Mayor Jim Schmitt is scheduled to discuss plans for a downtown location.

Mayor Schmitt has been against preliminary plans from Walmart building in the downtown Broadway District since the beginning.

"They called the meeting and I sure plan to be there representing the city and be very open about what they have to say," Schmitt said.

In September, the big box retailer revealed renderings of a 150,000 square foot supercenter to go on the old Larsen Cannery site.

In a meeting last month, Schmitt asked store officials to scale back those designs or consider four other sites around the city.

"I'm going to see if they'll look at other sites," he explained. "If they've tweaked what plans they have. But I hope tomorrow is productive. These things have a tendency to drag on and on and I just think a decision needs to be made and a direction agreed to and we'll take it from there."

In a statement to Local 5, a Walmart spokesperson said, "We have diligently researched the viability of the alternate sites and evaluated how well they could serve our customers' needs.  We look forward to continuing the discussion in our follow up meeting on November 19." 

The city planning department is working on a long-term master plan for downtown Green Bay. The current version was developed before Walmart expressed interest in the old cannery site and shows it as potential residential space.

"Our plan is not meant to be that specific so we're not going to talk about Walmart in the downtown plan," explained Nic Sparacio, City Planner. "But it is something that we'll take into consideration as we look at some of the broader themes for the area."

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