Larsen Green site could soon have new buyer

By Heather Sawaski, Local 5 News

Published 07/31 2014 05:35PM

Updated 09/08 2014 08:35PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Less than 24 hours after Walmart officially gave up their plans to build on Broadway, Green Bay's Mayor said interest in the downtown land is pouring in. That includes a written offer from a developer to purchase the 15 acre Larsen Green site.

"We were very committed to make sure this was the end result," Rhonda Sitnikau commented.

Sitnikau is  a member of the grassroots group B Local. She said she's proud their efforts have paid off.

"I'm very relieved," she said. "We're ready to move on."

So is Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt. He says the city, and On Broadway Inc., already have a written offer to purchase the property and another developer showing a lot of interest.

"Neither of them are here with a superstore," Mayor Schmitt said. "Both of them are in here with things that are a little bit more unique."

He's not naming names or specifics, but Mayor Schmitt said the developers plans fit with the city's downtown vision of mixed-use development on the site and preservation of the historic buildings. He also said the offer would be enough to repay the $3 million dollar bank loan on the property and create a bigger long-term tax base.

"The taxpayers will win on this new development more than they would on Walmart," said Mayor Schmitt.

City Council President Tom DeWane has always supported Walmart's proposal, and said he has not yet seen the new offer.

"I'm for bringing a lot of energy into Green Bay," he explained. "We've been doing it the last two or three years. We've got to keep this going. I'll be right there hoping we can bring something in and get this done, but until I see what it is and what it might cost us, I can't tell you whether I'm for it or not."

Rhonda Sitnikau is also waiting patiently.

"We trust our mayor and his vision and we're looking forward to what comes next," she added.

The executive director of On Broadway Inc. said the group is also reviewing the offer, but there's still a long way to go before any decisions are made.

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