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Shipyard project in jeopardy as Skogen weighs other options

A  rendering of the proposed outdoor events center for a potential new entertainment district in downtown Green Bay called "The Shipyard" (Photo Courtesy: City of Green Bay)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- After two years of discussion, Green Bay's Shipyard plan is in danger of falling apart.

Festival Foods President and CEO Mark Skogen says he is not happy with the lack of progress and is looking at other options to build his indoor concert facility.

“I'm very concerned about this project,” said Jim Schmitt, Green Bay’s Mayor.

The Shipyard plan includes an $11 million outdoor event center that would host Bullfrogs baseball games, development league soccer, and high school athletics. The city would pay $9.5 million of that up front. An Anduzzi’s restaurant and Skogen’s 2,000-person capacity indoor concert venue have been tied to the project and would be attached to the stadium.

The Shipyard site is on city-owned property on the edge of the Fox River, next to the Mason Street Bridge.

“I would have liked to have been breaking ground right now,” said Skogen. “The site in Green Bay is far from that right now. I’m going to see what can get done fastest.”

“We're very concerned we're not going to have the private sector investment in that project,” said Schmitt. “If we don't we're not going to go ahead.”

The city council did pass a development agreement last month for the stadium part of the Shipyard proposal. However, that agreement is meaningless if deals aren't also reached before the end of the year with Anduzzi’s and Skogen.

“Well I think he just really needs to tell us that it's this, this, and this by this date, so we don't kick things around and refer things back to committee and drag our feet and then we have other communities that get the opportunities that we missed here in Green Bay,” said Schmitt.

Skogen says the Green Bay plan isn't out of the running, but he is considering multiple sites in Ashwaubenon. His goal is to announce a firm plan next month. In Green Bay,

“As much as we love the regional aspect of Greater Green Bay, our focus is a healthy downtown and I think a healthy downtown is the heart of the city and things pulse from the heart,” said Schmitt. “I think his investment in the downtown would strengthen all communities, especially the downtown. It would hurt to lose that.”

Schmitt says he is hesitant to move forward with the Shipyard plan if Anduzzi’s is the only private project attached to the stadium. He says it is his goal to reach an agreement with Skogen by the end of the year.

The city's goal is for the stadium to be open for the Bullfrogs' 2019 season.

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