GREEN BAY - Even before the news of a possible Walmart, Green Bay planners had public meetings scheduled regarding the future of the downtown.
One of those meetings was held Thursday night at the Neville Public Museum.
“This meeting wasn't really designed at all to deal with any specific property or any specific development proposal,” said Nic Sparacio, a city planner.
Sparacio admits talking about one specific property would be unavoidable at this meeting.
“We really want to focus on the downtown overall, but we knew that's on people's minds and we can understand that,” said Sparacio referring to the Walmart idea.
About 50 more people showed up at the meeting compared to the last one. Many in attendance included Broadway stakeholders, like Kathy Brockdorf, the owner of Alfa Bridal. She says she was caught off guard that Walmart might move into the neighborhood.
“I will be very interested to see what the proposal is and if there is certainly any latitude or if it’s already something that's a done deal,” said Brockdorf.
On Broadway Incorporated's executive director, Christopher Naumann, says the deal isn't done. That is the group that owns the site and has been working with Walmart on a possible sale.
“There's no such things as a sure thing in real estate development,” said Naumann. “Walmart, being the entity that is showing interest, is in a negotiated contract on the property, but as you know in real estate, that's just the first step of exploring the option.”
At the meeting, people were for and against the idea.
“Development is what we need and good corporate clients such as Walmarts are, nothing is better,” said Tom Van Oss of Green Bay.
“We're very concerned,” said Brockdorf. “We've really tried to build on the historical downtown Broadway aspect.”
On Broadway officials say the public's opinion will be taken into account during the process.
“At this point we have a stance of neutrality until we see what they can bring to the table and our board can really talk about it,” said Naumann.
On Broadway leaders expect a proposal from Walmart in the next month.
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