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Walmart submits proposal for downtown Green Bay store

A public meeting will be held on January 22nd.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Walmart has submitted a formal proposal to the city of Green Bay, in an effort to build store in the downtown Broadway District. The proposal is a longtime in the making. Store officials said it took public feedback into consideration when drafting the final plans. But the ultimate decision on whether or not a Walmart is the best fit for Broadway is up to the city.

Over the next couple of weeks, Green Bay's Plan Commission has to pour through dozens of pages. They are Walmart's formal proposal to build a 150,000 square foot supercenter on the Larsen Green site.

"This is the first set of plans we've actually been given in city hall," said Nic Sparacio, city planner.

Sparacio said, in order for these renderings to become a reality, both the plan commission and city council need to agree to rezone the property and alter the downtown comprehensive plan, which encourages mixed-use, multi-story building space.

"That will be one of the challenges here," explained Sparacio. "How this request by Walmart can fit in and perhaps work with the timeline of finalizing the downtown plan."

After months of public feedback, Walmart said its changed the positioning and shape of the building, so it better aligns with the city's urban design. Officials also said the redevelopment will create about 300 jobs.

"Being a custom footprint of a store now, it lends itself a lot more to the unique character of the Broadway District, much better than their prototype did," said Christopher Naumann, Executive Director of On Broadway Inc.

Broadway business leaders and Green Bay's mayor have been outspokenly against a supercenter in the downtown. The Larsen Green property is currently owned by On Broadway Inc. Naumann sees the formal proposal as a starting point for some important discussions.

"Now we can evaluate it," he said. "Look at some of the impacts and we can really make some decisions I think really with the city looking at the more technical aspects of the proposal rather than just the passion of the brand or the fear of the big box."

The plan commission will take up the issue during its meeting on January 27th.

Walmart is giving the public a chance to see these plans. Company officials will host a neighborhood meeting on January 22nd at the Neville Public Museum.

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