GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Road construction in the Rail Yard Innovation District kicked off Wednesday.
Ground breaking ceremonies are normally reserved for things like buildings or major highways, but leaders of the Rail Yard believe a trio of road extensions will come with plenty of development worth celebrating.
“The progress that has been made to date inside the Rail Yard Innovation District has all been done without any real address other than Broadway,” said Paul Belschner, Base Companies President and CEO. “There are no public roads inside of the Rail Yard even though some extensions resemble that.”
Donald Driver Way, Kellog Street, and Bond Street will be extended to run through the Rail Yard.
In the last few years, DDL Holdings, a partnership of Titletown Brewing Company and Base Companies, has invested more than $30 million in new development in the Rail Yard. In 5 to 10 years, the belief is that number could rise to between $60 and $100 million.
“The roads really kind of clearly articulate where your parcels are going to be,” said Brian Johnson, the district’s alderman and the executive director of On Broadway, Inc. “It allows the opportunity to carve out some new land for new development.”
On the 22-acre Rail Yard site, eight high-end condos are currently under construction and 107 affordable housing units called the Broadway Lofts are expected to break ground in a few weeks.
DDL Holdings says about 3 to 4 acres remain open for development and will likely be filled with even more housing.
“We continue to see residential at 100% occupancy downtown,” said Johnson. “This creates some opportunity for us to really recruit some dense residential. You start looking at buildings that can attract hundreds of tenants, that is really kind of our focus right now.”
“There's been a number of groups that have come from outside of Green Bay on behalf of opportunity zone funds that are looking to add more living options to the Rail Yard,” said Belschner.
Opportunity zones are a product of the 2017 tax legislation. Tax benefits are available to investors in the zones, which are typically economically-distressed areas.
The federal government recently designated four areas in Green Bay as opportunity zones.
The city will explain how the zones work and their benefits at a workshop on June 4th at Titletown Brewing Company.