GREEN BAY – The public is getting its first look at Walmart’s new design for a downtown Green Bay store on Broadway.
“The changes that we’ve made to the plan are significant and have come from the conversations that we’ve had with stakeholders over the last several months,” said Delia Garcia, a spokesperson for Walmart.
If you look at the new rendering compared to the one Walmart presented to the city in March, you can see cosmetic changes. However, it is comparable in size. It’s 154,000 square feet with 623 parking spaces.
“I’m not impressed,” said Alex Galt, who owns Kavarna on Broadway. “It’s what we’ve seen.”
Galt and others against the project say they favor mixed use for the site. That’s what the city council unanimously voted for two months ago, essentially blocking a big box store from being built on the property.
“Our criticism of the development was never what it looked like, it was what it was and what it is hasn’t changed at all,” said Galt.
Walmart says its new proposal accommodates the calls for mixed use. It has set aside the air rights of 500,000 square feet of parking. That means development could be built there, as long as it’s above the parking spaces.
“Air rights over a parking lot, adjacent to Walmart, it’s probably not going to get developers too excited,” said Galt.
“Unless something changes right now, I like what I see,” said Tom DeWane, the president of the city council.
DeWane says he believes the council will support Walmart’s new plan.
“In the process, they listened to the aldermen and what they wanted to see,” said DeWane.
Since the council last voted on anything Walmart-related, a third of the aldermen spots have changed.
Walmart says it plans to donate the brick from the current Larsen Green building for historic preservation.
The company would privately fund the project, including about $2 million to make the property ready for development.