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Old October 25th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #1
i_am_hydrogen
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Green Bay Development News

...continued from the previous thread.

Here's a link to the old thread:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=333289
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Old October 25th, 2006, 07:41 PM   #2
GBSurveyor
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Chains

I have to admit that I frequent chain restaurants, mostly because of convenience and close proximity to where I live, more so now with kids. Many of the local establishments that we used to enjoy are just too Smokey. With friends in the Appleton area we have been dining down there more now with the smoking ban, we have been able to go to places that we wouldn't go before. Anyways I think that chains bring along with them the level of consistency that many people like. I am sure downtown would welcome any investment, chain or not, one of the main reasons chains locate where they do is based on traffic counts alone. And unless you work downtown you probably don't go there for much else. I just really think that we are blessed to have establishments like Titletown and Hinterland.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #3
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The future comes true

Not to get off the topic, but as we had anticipated no construction has started by Vetter on Astor Place or River Center by the end of our 2nd thread. Here's to hoping there will be a foundation by the end of our 3rd. For all the discussing we do about development maybe we should all start our own firm to get things moving.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #4
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Military Ave Redevelopment

Looks like there is some real potential for this with a lot of business owner input.

Quote:
Businesses put in driver's seat

City offers 'blank canvas' on project

By Paul Srubas

Military Avenue, on the short list for major road construction, is ripe for major development that could make it a retail strip to rival Ashwaubenon's Oneida Street, city officials told business owners Wednesday night.

City officials met Wednesday with about 40 business owners at Kennedy Elementary School to ask their help in developing a vision and strategy for the retail district.

"Many times, we're criticized for coming out with a complete plan," Public Works Director Carl Weber told the group. "This time, we're coming in with a blank canvas."

The road, built in 1952 and resurfaced in 1972, was scheduled for another resurfacing recently, but that project was scrapped when engineers discovered that the original bed of concrete was reduced practically to gravel at many of the joints, said Ed Wiesner, director of engineering for the city.

That means resurfacing wouldn't last long enough to make it economically feasible, he said. Therefore, the city must make plans to reconstruct the road, a project planned for 2009-10.

While that will provide at least an inconvenience for business traffic during construction, it also provides an opportunity, Mayor Jim Schmitt said. He joined aldermen John Vander Leest and Steven Deneys, the representatives of the area, in calling for business owners and residents to volunteer for a steering committee.

The committee, when it forms, will advise the city on the needs and desires of Military Avenue businesses both for access considerations during construction and for a vision for the future — to determine the look, the atmosphere of the retail strip and, perhaps, develop a unified business strategy. It may recommend forming a business improvement district, tax increment financing district or some other strategy for redevelopment and encouraging new business.
Rest of Article http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/...610260553/1978

It may take some time, but a plan is better than no plan.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 06:59 PM   #5
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Military Ave

If you could make an axis and on one side indicate how much traffic volume passes through an area and on the other side indicate how ugly an area is, I think the area surrounding Military and Mason would stand out as being the most in need of a makeover in Green Bay. That area is embarrassingly hideous. The strip malls are straight trashy. With as much traffic as passes through there I would suspect that with a couple fresh coats of paint, that spot could eventually begin to resemble Oneida. And if they do a great job on the streetscape and implement the business improvement district, it could potentially blow away the Oneida scene. I'm glad they're going at this with some sort of master plan. This project is long overdue and I'm happy to see it happen.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 07:29 PM   #6
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Why is Oneida Street the benchmark people use? A mall, a bunch of little strip malls , ton of ugly neon lighting fats food after fast food.....not sure what makes that all that apealing and any better than Military Ave.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #7
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Oneida is used as the benchmark because the amount of commercial development, not so much the look. To me Oneida is as hideous as Military, save for maybe a little newer buildings. Getting landscaping in, banners, and lighting would go a long way in making the street look better, but the businesses have to buy in to improve the look of the actual users to attract customers. There is a lot we can learn from Oneida, but I think the goal should be to learn from more of the negative aspects of it.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 11:25 PM   #8
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RDA Minutes

Okay, just read the minutes from the Special RDA Meeting regarding River Center and Astor Place updates. I feel a little bit better. Reservations should be converted to sales contracts by Thanksgiving for Astor, and both projects may be under construction at the same time. Wow, talk about going from nothing to something, heh? Again, When they both start rising up I will feel a lot better, but it is nice to know that by January we should have seen some major beginning progress. FINALLY!

RDA 10/23 Minutes

http://www.ci.green-bay.wi.us/mins_agd/
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Old October 26th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbmphillips View Post
Why is Oneida Street the benchmark people use? A mall, a bunch of little strip malls , ton of ugly neon lighting fats food after fast food.....not sure what makes that all that apealing and any better than Military Ave.
The answer: $$$

I'm with you, Oneida in unwalkable and unattractive. Once again, Ashwaubenon is ahead of the curve here. Green Bay is trying to emulate Oneida St., while at the same time Ashwaubenon is trying to make the Oneida St./Holmgren Way corridor more urban, walkable, and attractive with their boulevard plan. I guess we'll see what they come up with for Military, hopefully it will only be like Oneida in terms of tax base.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #10
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4Life: Thanks for linking to those RDA minutes. Made me feel better. The projects will still garner $56 million in assessed value, combined, when finished. From a taxpayer standpoint, that's pretty sweet considering those 2 parcels generate nothing in tax revenue right now.

ONe of the many reasons I believe in Downtown: Here we'll see $56 million in value on just 2 acres of land. Consider: to get to $56 million in assessed value on your typical suburban sprawled-out subdivision, it would require hundreds of parcels built on hundreds of acres with 3-4 miles of streets.

Last edited by Puant; October 27th, 2006 at 08:39 AM.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBSurveyor View Post
I have to admit that I frequent chain restaurants, mostly because of convenience and close proximity to where I live, more so now with kids. Many of the local establishments that we used to enjoy are just too Smokey. With friends in the Appleton area we have been dining down there more now with the smoking ban, we have been able to go to places that we wouldn't go before. Anyways I think that chains bring along with them the level of consistency that many people like. I am sure downtown would welcome any investment, chain or not, one of the main reasons chains locate where they do is based on traffic counts alone. And unless you work downtown you probably don't go there for much else. I just really think that we are blessed to have establishments like Titletown and Hinterland.
The problem with chains is that often they come and go with the traffic counts, and they have no real interest in keeping their development local. I mean, that's precisely what lead to the flight from downtown in the first place. We tore up all of the buildings and businesses that made downtown unique so we could have a mall full of chain restaurants, which jumped ship for Ashwaubenon as soon as they saw that they could squeeze a few extra dollars out of Oneida. Big chain restaurants have next to zero real investment in the community, and as such they're quick to leave. If you look at the way Broadway has managed to revitalize itself, they didn't do so by asking Chipotle to do it for them. I really think that an over-reliance on chains would just be setting the city up for a repeat of the Port Plaza Mall collapse another 10-15 years down the road.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #12
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I understand the fact that people view chains as having no real tie to the community. The successful local restaurants have carved out their own special niche. But out of town people and many residents still associate with name recognition. Still others are attracted to the city because they see familiar establishments that are available elsewhere. Local restaurants and chains can coexist - I do believe there is enough people to frequent both. Besides, if a chain is going to locate here anyway, I would rather it be here in Green Bay than in one of the burbs. Besides, I recall the mall having Subway, McDonald's, The Crockery Restaurant, to name a few associated with it. I don't believe Subway or McDonald's is going away from the community as they are everywhere. It was more of the retail aspect of the mall that drove the original development. As far as the new restaurants going in the Baylake Building. Good. It is good for competition and choice. Local restaurants need to set themselves apart in terms of quality, service, and variety. That's the main reason people will seek out those restuarants, eat there, and recommend them. If people ask me where to eat when they come to Green Bay, I point to local restaurants first, but frequently get asked where the nearest Friday's or Hooter's is. It is just the way of the world. We have enough issues in Green Bay to start telling TGI Friday's or Chipotle that they are not welcome downtown.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 04:04 PM   #13
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There is a place for chain restaurants. Some people do like them. They're not very adventuresome nor do they raise the culinary bar; but, they are familiar. Someone visiting Green Bay from a larger metro area could probably care less if there is a TGIF or Olive Garden. Someone visiting from a smaller town across Wisconsin or the U.P. would probably find it to be a treat.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Bay 4 Life View Post
I understand the fact that people view chains as having no real tie to the community. The successful local restaurants have carved out their own special niche. But out of town people and many residents still associate with name recognition. Still others are attracted to the city because they see familiar establishments that are available elsewhere. Local restaurants and chains can coexist - I do believe there is enough people to frequent both. Besides, if a chain is going to locate here anyway, I would rather it be here in Green Bay than in one of the burbs. Besides, I recall the mall having Subway, McDonald's, The Crockery Restaurant, to name a few associated with it. I don't believe Subway or McDonald's is going away from the community as they are everywhere. It was more of the retail aspect of the mall that drove the original development. As far as the new restaurants going in the Baylake Building. Good. It is good for competition and choice. Local restaurants need to set themselves apart in terms of quality, service, and variety. That's the main reason people will seek out those restuarants, eat there, and recommend them. If people ask me where to eat when they come to Green Bay, I point to local restaurants first, but frequently get asked where the nearest Friday's or Hooter's is. It is just the way of the world. We have enough issues in Green Bay to start telling TGI Friday's or Chipotle that they are not welcome downtown.
Once you mentioned the Crockery, I started to reminise a bit about Port Plaza, I spent a great deal of my childhood there, and it dosen't seem that long ago that I would go chrsitmas shopping with the guys and we would always make a stop at Diamond Dave's and have a few tall ones. Ah the good ol days... at least in my life time. I dont know if anyone had a chance to check out the old Pranges window displays when they still had windows, but last year when the Neville Museum had many of the snow babies on display for the christmass season, I overheard many, many peolpe talk about the old storefront displays, it was a family event to walk around and view a different display each year, my mom said that many people would go to view the snow babies and then go over to Kapps (not sure on the spelling). It was like a tradition.
I don't know if they ever will be a specticle like that again but I sure hope we can improve on our downtown and someday I can spend a christmas season with my family enjoying the simpler things in life... without having to pay $ to have a picture with santa. Peace
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #15
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edited

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Old October 31st, 2006, 12:04 AM   #16
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i saw on Commercialhorizons.com that the regency center downtown is for sale for 16 million dollars. do you think a renovation or redevelopment opportunity is on the brink if a developer or major financial backer comes in? any thoughts on what this may mean if we have one more building for sale downtown?
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Old October 31st, 2006, 04:31 AM   #17
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I find it intersting that the Regency is for sale. Does anyone know if there is a connection in ownership with the Hotel/Office end of it??? There are seperate owners for each parcel.
I often wonder what is going on with WPS, or whatever there new name is going to be. They have been spending a ton of money on developing some of the best surface parking there is in Green Bay, does anyone know if they lease out office space in the regency??
Also wondering if there has been any word on the street in regards to the KI expansion.

I'm still waiting for the day of the iminant destruction to commence on the Younkers Building. So if I understand the RDA minutes, the Vetter group plans to completely take down the oldest most historic portion of the building while completely stripping down the exterior of the most northerly part? the part with the white bricks? then phase 2 will start to deal with the western and southern part of the brown brick structure. Is that what the new plan is?
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Old October 31st, 2006, 02:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBSurveyor View Post
I'm still waiting for the day of the iminant destruction to commence on the Younkers Building. So if I understand the RDA minutes, the Vetter group plans to completely take down the oldest most historic portion of the building while completely stripping down the exterior of the most northerly part? the part with the white bricks? then phase 2 will start to deal with the western and southern part of the brown brick structure. Is that what the new plan is?
I'll have more info for everyone to look through on this and related topics later this week, but for now... no, that isn't what the plan is.

Phase one takes care of all demolition for the whole site. As you stated, the oldest part will come down, as will much of the newest white part. The remainder of the white part and the brown brick part along the river will be stripped down. The remaining white part on the north will be converted into rental lofts, while the brown part along the river will have two floors added and become condos averaging about $140,000. The remainder will be retail, parking and the children's museum. All of this is part of phase 1. Phase two is the commercial space that will go on top of the parking structure along Washington St. The size of this will be determined by market demand.

Hope the makes sense. It is important to note that phase 1 can and will begin without any presales of the condo portion, as the state housing grants for the rental portion are sufficient to enable project start.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 02:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBSurveyor View Post
There are seperate owners for each parcel.
I often wonder what is going on with WPS, or whatever there new name is going to be. They have been spending a ton of money on developing some of the best surface parking there is in Green Bay, does anyone know if they lease out office space in the regency??
Best surface parking? There are way too many surface lots near the former headquarters of WPS/People's Energy or their new name Integries or something like that. If they combined them into one parking ramp and then opened up those other lots for development, that would be great. And what was with the reconstruction of that lot on the river north of the Holiday Inn? No trees or anything. With it being a utility company you would think they would see the benefits trees have on the heat island affect and what not.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 07:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Best surface parking? There are way too many surface lots near the former headquarters of WPS/People's Energy or their new name Integries or something like that. If they combined them into one parking ramp and then opened up those other lots for development, that would be great. And what was with the reconstruction of that lot on the river north of the Holiday Inn? No trees or anything. With it being a utility company you would think they would see the benefits trees have on the heat island affect and what not.
The only reason I can see that they would improve their parking lots is that in the short term parking may be the best option for them, there may not be a whole lot of interest just yet in that land and the old Holiday Inn parking lot was in pretty bad shape. That is their main enterance to their GB headquarters and it should look nice. I do think that they went way overboard though and of course there are much better uses for all of that land. I think the GB Downtown plan highlights what could be there. Maybe someday in the future WPS/Peoples will build a new building there. Plus I guess I would rather see a parking lot over a single story strip mall.
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