Mayor talks about state of Green Bay

GREEN BAY – A downtown grocery store was just one of the things Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt promised in his annual State of the City address on Wednesday.

The speech focused heavily on the city’s downtown. However, Schmitt also talked about development that could be coming to other parts of the city.

For a second straight year Schmitt said the renovation of the Hotel Northland is the city’s top priority. He says construction should start soon on the $35 million project.

Schmitt says one of the highlights this coming year will be announcing a downtown grocery store. Before his speech, he told FOX 11 the city has been in talks with many grocers, including Festival Foods, Copps, and Piggly Wiggly.

“I think there is a market down here to be served,” said Schmitt. “I think everyone is convinced of that. I think the person who makes the commitment the soonest is the one who is going to win.”

Earlier this month, the city council unanimously voted to block a Walmart Supercenter for a Broadway property. In his speech, Schmitt said that property could see a mix of condos, retail space, and a music hall of fame for Wisconsin.

“We’d induct them at the Meyer Theatre and then shrine them over at the music hall of fame,” said Schmitt. “Oh yeah, that’s something we’ve been working on for about a year now.”

Schmitt also talked about the area near East Town Mall. Schmitt says the city has been talking with officials in education, major specialized retail and healthcare.

“We need to anchor the east side of Green Bay on Main and Mason,” said Schmitt. “It’s one of the busiest intersections we have. We have a mall there that needs something.”

“I’m glad to see that he’s going to dedicate some time outside of downtown,” said Tom DeWane, the city council president. “We’ve been talking about that the last couple months.”

FOX 11 talked with several city council members after the speech. None of them had any major concerns with Schmitt’s plans.

“You know it’s a long speech and I think there’s a lot of things that can be covered, but I think he got all the most important parts,” said Alderman Joe Moore.

Other highlights from the speech include plans for city-wide Wi-Fi, a new sister-city relationship with Bishan, China and challenge with Google to get more businesses online.

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