Building a new Walmart Supercenter in downtown Green Bay has proved to be no simple thing. Green Bay’s Plan Commission has voted to change the classification of the site in the Broadway District where the retail giant wants to build the store. However, it was to “downtown” and not “commercial” which isn’t what Walmart was seeking.
Going with the recommendation presented by the commission, led by City Planner Nic Sporacio, the committee voted 5-1 with Chairperson Maribeth Conard abstaining, to deny the motion amending the Green Bay Smart Growth 2022 Comprehensive Plan by revising the map of Future Land Use.
Instead, the panel approved the recommendation to change the properties in the 400-600 blocks of North Broadway Street from general industrial to downtown. Walmart was looking to have the properties classified as commercial for the purpose of building a 150,000 square foot store.
“In this case here, the people have spoke loud and clear and by large quantities,” said Alderman Jerry Wiezbiskie after the meeting. “Nothing against Walmart but a big-box down there, there’s no place for it down there.”
As explained by Sporacio, the “downtown” classification aims to keep the future land use at a medium-box, or between 25,000 and 70,000 square feet. It also allows for mixed-use development, rather than just one particular usage.
“We look forward to working with the city council to look at how our project can continue to move forward,” says Walmart spokesperson Lisa Nelson, who wouldn’t say if this was the end of the line for the retail giant. “We are proposing a 150,000 square foot store at the site. We’ve vetted them through many folks within the district and we believe it’s a really great plan.”
Most in attendance spoke during the public comment period against Walmart building their Supercenter at Broadway and Kellogg Streets. The meeting, which lasted over 4 hours, heard many of the same arguments against the plan. The Green Bay City Council will take up this amended resolution when they meet on Tuesday February 4th.