Allouez Ambition: Turning a Prison into an Attraction

Local News

Condos, pavilions, piers, parks–not exactly what you think about when zipping past Green Bay Correctional.
But if it goes the way Allouez wants it to, that is exactly what you will see.

“We have an opportunity to save the taxpayers $150 million over the next ten years by decommissioning green bay correctional institute and returning that land–50 acres–back to the village of Allouez and unlocking an amazing economic development possibility worth over $80 million,” said State Representative David Steffen.

Green Bay Correctional needs about $200 million in repairs, and a new facility would not require as many employees.
But do not confuse that with layoffs.

“We can have a 30-40 percent reduction in staffing without giving a single pink-slip,” he said.

An ongoing statewide shortage of correctional officers makes that possible. And needing fewer employees may actually take some pressure off of the current staff.
A new prison would be privately-owned and cost about $300 million–all taxable. And Kewaunee County is a contender for the site.

“That’s a tremendous economic jolt in the arm for any community that gets it,” he said. “Essentially, Kewaunee would transition from cows to convicts for their economic vitality.”

Creating an attraction for the entire area is the goal, with a central park stretching from Webster Avenue to the Fox River acting as a focal point.
And a bridge over Riverside Drive would link the river with the retail.

“There are no losers with this project,” said Rep. Steffen. “But what we need to do is put it together in such a fashion that is compelling for the governor that he will take the appropriate action.”

An economic impact study from St. Norbert will drop in about 60-90 days, telling us what the actual value of this ambitious project would be.
After that is when we can expect another update from Allouez Village Hall.

On Tuesday, June 26th the Village of Allouez unveiled a Conceptual Plan for a future development on the current Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI) site.

The Conceptual Plan includes the types of properties, public spaces and other amenities called for in the Village of Allouez Comprehensive Plan, Allouez Corridor Study, and the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan. Click here to view the GBCI conceptual plan. 

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