Plans by an area car dealer to expand on the East Mason Street corridor of Green Bay got preliminary approval from the Green Bay Plan Commission this week. But as Local 5’s Kris Schuller reports, not everyone supports it, including the alderman who represents the district.
In the 1300 block of East Mason Street – numerous properties, most vacant and in disrepair for years.
But for Dan Goben this blight presents opportunity, a chance to grow his truck dealership next door.
“This property is available, a large portion of it is vacant and condemned and we want to improve the neighborhood, improve the property,” said Goben.
Goben wants to buy these properties and expand his dealership west, creating space for 200 vehicles and 11 new jobs.
“This is a businessman who wants his business to succeed in Green Bay,” said Alderman David Nennig.
And this week Nennig and others on the City Plan Commission voted to change the land-use designation here from residential to commercial, making Goben’s plan now possible.
“He wants to be part of the neighborhood, I think he has a good attitude,” Nennig said.
“I think the Plan Commission took the easy way out,” said Alderman Bill Galvin.
Alderman Galvin doesn’t like the proposal. He wants this area to remain residential.
“Now they’ve allowed a commercial business into that area and once you have that door open you can’t close it,” Galvin said.
He says it is near downtown where housing is in demand and he’d rather the city wait for other developers.
“You have this one bird in the hand versus two in the bush,” Galvin added.
“We’re not asking for one tax dollar, I’m funding this completely myself,” Goben said.
And now Goben has the support of the Plan Commission, an important next step as he moves forward.
“We want to grow our business, we want to employee more people and do more business with the city of Green Bay,” said Goben.
Goben says he’ll invest $2.5 million in the expansion. The property still needs to be rezoned.