City council approves Shipyard project

The latest rendering of the Shipyard Disrict, proposed for Green Bay's west side. (Photo courtesy City of Green Bay)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- After two years of discussion, Green Bay’s city council approved the Shipyard proposal Tuesday night.

However, work still needs to be done with the private developers before we see any type of ground breaking.

With little public discussion among themselves, Green Bay’s city council voted 8 to 3 to give the green light for the Shipyard.

“People are going to be talking about this night very much into the future,” said Mayor Jim Schmitt.

The outdoor event center, concert hall, and Anduzzi’s restaurant is proposed for downtown property on the Fox River, which has been empty for 30 years. The 17-acre property is next to the Mason Street Bridge.

“This project, the Shipyard, is already spurring thoughts and dreams of taking my kids down there to catch a game, grab a bite to eat, maybe do some fishing or just go down and hang out,” said Will Peters, who lives near the proposed site.

The price tag for the stadium, along with waterfront and parking improvements is $13.5 million. The city would pay $12 million of that.

If all goes according to plan, no taxpayer money would be used. Instead, the city would use a stadium lease agreement and tax revenue from new development to pay off a bank loan.

“I thought there was way too much uncertainty to approve what we did tonight,” said Alderman David Nennig, one of the three ‘no’ votes.

Nennig is concerned there isn’t enough private money committed to the Shipyard and taxpayers could end up paying back the bank loan.

“The only thing that we had certainty in those development agreements was for the Skogen indoor entertainment center,” said Nennig.

City staff says Anduzzi’s hasn’t been fully on board with the development agreements. However, staff says its confident another restaurant could replace Anduzzi’s if it decides to walk away from the Shipyard.

“It’s up to them now if they don’t like the deal,” said Schmitt. “We’re where we need to be, it’s where we can be, and we’re just hopeful we can bring everything together by the end of the year.”

That includes Festival Foods President and CEO Mark Skogen’s concert hall. Skogen has said he is still considering an Ashwaubenon site for his part of the Shipyard.

Before the vote, the city released several letters of interest in other property in the Shipyard area.

Breakthrough Fuel says it would like to build its new headquarters in the area if the stadium is built.

Two developers also say they’d build housing projects if the Shipyard moves ahead.

The goal is to have the Shipyard ready for spring 2019.

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