What Is Next For Walmart?

By Kris Schuller | kris.schuller@wearegreenbay.com

Published 03/05 2014 09:13PM

Updated 03/05 2014 10:58PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) A day after the Green Bay City Council said no to big-box development in the Broadway District, many are wondering what's next? It is a question many people are asking, after Walmart was told last night - no supercenter allowed.       

After Tuesday night's city council meeting, where council members voted to keep big-box developments out of downtown Green Bay, the one-thing Walmart officials did not say - is they are done.

 "We look forward to continuing the process with the city, "said Walmart spokesperson Lisa Nelson.

 "I don't know what they're going to do- the ball is in their court," said Green bay Mayor Jim Schmitt. "But they do have some options before them."

 Mayor Schmitt says while the land-use designation for the Larsen Green site has changed - supporting mixed-use development - rather than the big box Walmart had asked for to accommodate this supercenter, the company could still come back with a new proposal.

 "One option they have is a scaled down neighborhood store or the other option is to move a mile from that location and build a superstore along the beltline," Schmitt said.

 But up until now, any of those suggestions have not gotten very far, at least publicly with, the retailer.

 "If they don't want to go smaller - that's fine as far as I'm concerned," said council member Amy Kocha. "Then we should look for other developers and I'm very confident other developers will come forward."

 However, right now it seems Walmart has the strongest interest. Yet after Tuesday night's vote, their next move remains unknown.

 "The council laid out the path for moving forward and we still believe we can be a solution to the needs of the downtown," said Nelson.

 On Broadway Incorporated owns the Larsen Green site. However, the city of Green Bay guaranteed the loan for the land's purchase in 2007.

 On Broadway anticipates having problems meeting its mortgage payments later this year.

 If they would default, Alderman Joe Moore says the city would be required to assume the mortgage - and in turn - take over ownership.

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