Changes proposed for Green Bay's East Town Mall

East Town Mall in Green Bay, seen September 27, 2016. (WLUK)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Major changes are being proposed for Green Bay's East Town Mall.

A New Jersey developer has plans to purchase and redevelop the struggling mall, which is on the city’s east side near the intersection of Mason and Main Streets.

“We'd be moving from turning the mall inside-out more or less, going from a mall with an interior courtyard, taking that all out and basically kind of doing a power retail center,” said Kevin Vonck, the city’s economic development director.

Currently, there are a variety of stores and a budget movie theatre between East Town’s main anchors of Hobby Lobby and Kohls.

According to city leaders, Lexington Realty International wants to replace the mall with large store fronts, only accessible from the outside. The New Jersey developer is proposing a 40,000 square foot sporting goods store, 32,000 square foot grocery store, two smaller retailers, and potentially the east branch of the Brown County Library.

“I think they will be names that people will recognize and really be excited about and I think the reason we're excited about it is those are the types of tenants that attract additional tenants as well,” said Vonck.

As for the East Branch Library, it is running out of space and time on its lease at its current location, around the corner from East Town.

In an email, Library Executive Director Brian Simons wrote, “this is one of a handful of possible sites the library is evaluating for an improved East Branch library. By no means are we committed to any site yet.”

“We've had some initial talks with the library director and their board and really feel this could be a great fit for them in terms of its the right amount of space they'd need,” said Vonck.

If this plan moves forward, the future of the mall's current tenants is unclear. However, city leaders say outlots could be added in the mall's parking lots, creating more potential retail space.

The city’s redevelopment authority is expected to vote on a term sheet for the proposal during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon.

As part of the term sheet, the city would be kicking in between $2 million and $3 million in tax incremental financing

City staff believes the project would raise the mall's property value by at least $6 million. It is currently assessed at $9 million.

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