Future unclear for former Schauer and Schumacher buildings
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- It's back to the drawing board for a prominent corner in downtown Green Bay.
A developer has decided not to pursue a project involving the former Schauer and Schumacher buildings at the corner of Walnut and Adams Streets.
Milwaukee View withdrew its planning option for the former furniture and funeral parlor buildings. Both have sat empty for more than a decade.
“I think Milwaukee View really wanted to look at a combination of some good retail on the first floor, some event space, and some combination of office space and maybe a little bit of housing,” said Kevin Vonck, Green Bay’s economic development director.
This is the third developer in the last few years to walk away from redevelopment plans for the buildings.
Downtown leaders believe there is still hope for a project.
“It has a lot of historic character,” said Jeff Mirkes, the executive director of Downtown Green Bay, Inc. “It's in the heart of downtown, just one and a half blocks off the City Deck.”
Now the city plans to take its time before committing to another plan or developer. However, there is interest. The city had five developers call about the buildings in the last few months.
“Developing downtown takes time and patience and this is a project, it will take the right creativity and the right economics,” said Mirkes.
City officials admit they can't wait too long. The city recently repaired cracks in the roof and performed support work. More work will likely be needed before another Wisconsin winter.
“We could get to the point where it could become structurally unsound and we'd have to take that down,” said Vonck. “I think it's really important for us to get somebody in there and get a project moving to be able to fix that because we really want to retain that building.”
The buildings were built in 1890 and 1930. Both qualify for Wisconsin's historic tax credit program and are in the application process of being added to National Register of Historic Places.