Retailer Meijer eyeing possible Howard site for store
By Bill Miston
HOWARD - It seems to be a consistent storyline in the Green Bay area -- another big-box retailer is considering building a store here.This time, just outside the Green Bay city limits, in Howard.The village confirmed that a Meijer real estate broker contacted the village, inquiring about property across from Mill's Fleet Farm on Shawano Avenue, near U.S. 41.Meijer stores are similar to Walmart. Meijer does not have any stores in Wisconsin, but is expanding in the Milwaukee area.Village officials say the Michigan-based grocer and retailer is in the infancy stages of checking out the land.Usually these types of projects are kept under tight wrap. But village leaders say an internal report was unintentionally emailed to the media Friday.The report - from the village administrator Paul Evert - explains the company is drawing up plans for the property across from Mill's Fleet Farm.Evert declined to talk to FOX 11 on camera. However, he tells FOX 11's Bill Miston, a long-term goal of the village has been to promote that property for re-development.Especially as the U.S. 41/Highway 29 interchange project comes to a close."With the 41/29 interchange, that has some significant possibilities with it," said Village President Burt McIntyre.McIntyre says the village gets several calls a day about commercial development opportunities. And it just so happened that one day, Meijer came calling."We're hoping that gets going but there's nothing concrete at this point," said McIntyre. "It hadn't even come to the point of even looking at plats or anything else like that."According to Brown County property records, the parcels of land are owned by several different people. A situation McIntyre says has been a hurdle for development in the past."The lesson we've learned, over the years - especially with that property across from Flee Farm - is if it isn't under single ownership, it's very hard to get developers interested in it."Meijer did not return our calls for comment.One property owner did tell FOX 11's Bill Miston he's pleased to hear of interest in the site.But when that interest might turn into a reality, village officials say is months - if not years - down the road.Evert says it's not the first time this location was up for re-development. Copps parent company Roundy's was interested in the site last year, but that plan never happened.
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