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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:55 PM   #2121
Navarino Rezdnt
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The Big Wait

I'm not sure if new blood in the mayor's office would jump start the stalled development DT. I believe it has more to do with market forces and the uncertainty of our current economic situation.

I do agree with those on the forum that think the flow of development, AP and RC being put before the clearing away of the mall and breaking up the parcel for development of individual mid-rise buildings may not have been the best. We're still in the early rounds of the fight to turn around downtown and going for the big punch early on wasn't the best move.

Someone on this board a long time ago used the euphemism that the boardwalk was the horse that pulls the cart, so until we have the horse (City Deck), gauging success of development is somewhat hard to do. So with the building of the City Deck, the Cherry St Ramp retail will look more appealing to businesses thinking of locating DT. Interest and action at the mall site hopefully will increase. It's all incremental and will take time. I know we've all been waiting a long time for some things to happen but I'm OK with the time-line if it is all done right.

I hope for all the best for The Republic and its first couple of years in business. I fear that like other businesses that had intentions of being a restaurant/pub that it doesn't end up being just another downtown tavern.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #2122
Danillo
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Regarding the Mall site, I agree that the thing to do would be to tear down the mall, put the streets through, parcel out the land, and then open it up for development. The problem is that doing so would cost money, and this city doesn't believe in spending money. Look at the opposition to the boardwalk, and that's a project that's set up to get funding in place before work begins on the various phases.

Of course, the reality is that the city is going to pay for removing the mall, either before hand by just doing it and not TIFing the developments as much, or by waiting until a development comes along and then paying for the developer to do it through TIF. The difference between the two options is really just confidence, and the council rarely has any of that. I don't even know if that's the worst thing in the world generally, but it is what it is.

Regarding the ordering of things, or building smaller now versus taller now or whatever, the types of project are just so different that I'm not even sure they compete directly. Dealing with the costs involved in a high-rise make it quite a bit different project and make for different price-points than a 4 or 5 floor building. I just don't think it's the case that because the city is working with Vetter on Astor Place, that there's some theoretical 5 story building that isn't happening as a result. Not that there's no overlap, I just don't think it's enough to kill either if the plan is right.

Now, maybe market forces aren't right for Astor Place, but I don't think the city is discouraging anything else (besides something like the Sinclaire proposal for the same site) by continuing to support AP. Maybe if the mall site was clear, you'd see some smaller scale residential proposals, but as discussed above, that's (paying to take down the mall) just not going to happen in Green Bay, and even if it did I fail to see why the city couldn't work on both and work with developers to try to make for different projects that compliment the goals of an urban area without undermining each other.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #2123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danillo View Post
Regarding the Mall site, I agree that the thing to do would be to tear down the mall, put the streets through, parcel out the land, and then open it up for development. The problem is that doing so would cost money, and this city doesn't believe in spending money. Look at the opposition to the boardwalk, and that's a project that's set up to get funding in place before work begins on the various phases.

Of course, the reality is that the city is going to pay for removing the mall, either before hand by just doing it and not TIFing the developments as much, or by waiting until a development comes along and then paying for the developer to do it through TIF. The difference between the two options is really just confidence, and the council rarely has any of that. I don't even know if that's the worst thing in the world generally, but it is what it is.

Regarding the ordering of things, or building smaller now versus taller now or whatever, the types of project are just so different that I'm not even sure they compete directly. Dealing with the costs involved in a high-rise make it quite a bit different project and make for different price-points than a 4 or 5 floor building. I just don't think it's the case that because the city is working with Vetter on Astor Place, that there's some theoretical 5 story building that isn't happening as a result. Not that there's no overlap, I just don't think it's enough to kill either if the plan is right.

Now, maybe market forces aren't right for Astor Place, but I don't think the city is discouraging anything else (besides something like the Sinclaire proposal for the same site) by continuing to support AP. Maybe if the mall site was clear, you'd see some smaller scale residential proposals, but as discussed above, that's (paying to take down the mall) just not going to happen in Green Bay, and even if it did I fail to see why the city couldn't work on both and work with developers to try to make for different projects that compliment the goals of an urban area without undermining each other.

Since it sounds like this may be directed at one of my recent posts, I'll respond. Basically, I agree with everything that you just said. That said, I wasn't implying that Astor Place is holding up the mall site or vice versa. The point I was trying to get to is that if there is not enough confidence in the downtown plan to attract large investors (for the Astor project), maybe starting on a smaller scale & showing that there IS a market for retail, restaurants, commercial, residential in that area, it may attract more interest for the bigger projects. People that have the money to invest in projects like this don't freely hand it out--they want a reasonable assurance that they will get a return.

About the mall site -

You bring up an interesting point about the expense of tearing it down. I would be interested to know what kind of carrying costs the city is currently paying to keep the mall in the vertical position.

It seems that if money is the only reason to NOT tear it down now, some sort of arrangement could be worked out, outside of TIF..
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Old September 25th, 2008, 03:31 AM   #2124
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HermosaBeachBoy- After your post I was curious as to what the price range of the condos in RC were going to be as well. So I sent Dan Hujet of Realty Executives an email to inquire about the price. The response I got back is below.

"The condos, at this point in time are projected to be in the $175,000-$225,000 range depending on the range of finishes with the interior. They can go upward from there depending on the size of the unit you would like."

A little bit more expensive than I was originally thinking they would have been. I thought they would have been 100k - 150k, but still a good sign to see them cheaper than something in Riverfront Lofts or AP.
Just out of curiousity, I emailed Dan as well. He actually redirected me to Vetter who said that the initial plan is for $150,000-225,000. I asked him if the design would still look like the Flats building and he said no, it would be different. I am not sure if that is good or bad.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:56 AM   #2125
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God forbid they show downtown during the game, but they will show a bridge how many times. I say it is a conspiracy. Let's overplay this tiny tiny town on national tv lol.
That's no joke, Titletown. In fact, I wrote a graduate paper on just this topic. I will post it here shortly, but you should really think about the reality of downtown Green Bay and how it's growth has been paradoxically stopped by the very entity it is supposed to support, the Packers. Those national television spots are planned out sometimes days in advance, and the perception of GB as a small, midwestern town where everyone watches football and life stops when the Packers play must be kept up.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 05:33 AM   #2126
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So, by extension, what you guys are saying is: If Green Bay downtown started getting built up with tall buildings, then fewer people would want to watch the Packers on TV because it could no longer be portrayed as a puny cow town?

I say that toungue-in-cheek; in fact I wrote about this a little bit myself in one of my early blog articles.

P.S. I'm still thinking about whether the economic problems (which I still think will lead to recession and/or depression) might help or hurt the downtown.

Right now I'm leaning towards the idea that some of our problems will eventually help the downtown as people can no longer drive everywhere because gas will be $8 per gallon. We will eventually have to return at least somewhat to the more traditional compact mode of living, and the downtown still has that fabric. But it will be a while before the most stubborn among us some to grips with that. We could use some good leadership here but it seems like political leadership is dead because people are too polarized in an irrational sort of way.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 06:24 AM   #2127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puant View Post
P.S. I'm still thinking about whether the economic problems (which I still think will lead to recession and/or depression) might help or hurt the downtown.

Right now I'm leaning towards the idea that some of our problems will eventually help the downtown as people can no longer drive everywhere because gas will be $8 per gallon. We will eventually have to return at least somewhat to the more traditional compact mode of living, and the downtown still has that fabric. But it will be a while before the most stubborn among us some to grips with that. We could use some good leadership here but it seems like political leadership is dead because people are too polarized in an irrational sort of way.
Well a global slowdown should drive down the cost of many of the commodities, including oil and steel, but if the great depression 2 were to occur most of us wouldn't have a job and therefore wont be able to pay for much. Little Green Bay may not be as harmed as some sectors and areas, but the doom and gloom looks bad.

I have this feeling that some people may just give up if walking was required, I mean just think about it, how in the world would someone get from the Shopko at Baypark to Texas Roadhouse without driving???
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Old September 26th, 2008, 06:50 AM   #2128
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Yet another lawsuit for the City of Green Bay

Yet another lawsuit awaits the jokers in our city office. Unfrickenbelievable how many times this city is getting sued lately...

http://www.nbc26.com/global/video/po...bles,%20Again?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 04:11 PM   #2129
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Yet another lawsuit awaits the jokers in our city office. Unfrickenbelievable how many times this city is getting sued lately...

http://www.nbc26.com/global/video/po...bles,%20Again?
Way to go Chad Fradette. Is this guy for real?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #2130
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I couldn't quite remember, but does the boardwalk begin construction on Monday or a week from Monday? Have they started bringing in any equipment for that yet?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #2131
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I couldn't quite remember, but does the boardwalk begin construction on Monday or a week from Monday? Have they started bringing in any equipment for that yet?
I can't answer your question, but they did say it was going to happen this month. If they wait until a week from Monday, we're talking October. I haven't seen any equipment building up by the river.

But this kind of goes back to the old joke......How do you know when a politician is lying?

When they open their mouth!
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Old September 26th, 2008, 08:44 PM   #2132
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I can't answer your question, but they did say it was going to happen this month. If they wait until a week from Monday, we're talking October. I haven't seen any equipment building up by the river.

But this kind of goes back to the old joke......How do you know when a politician is lying?

When they open their mouth!
haven't you guys heard? They changed the design of the boardwalk. In an effort to make it even cooler, they decided to make it invisible. They've been working on it all summer--it's almost done!!

don't believe me? here's a picture!!

image hosted on flickr
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Old September 26th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #2133
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haven't you guys heard? They changed the design of the boardwalk. In an effort to make it even cooler, they decided to make it invisible. They've been working on it all summer--it's almost done!!

don't believe me? here's a picture!!

image hosted on flickr

Way funny! I can think of a few people I'd like to tell to take the long walk on the "invisible" pier.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #2134
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Way to go Chad Fradette. Is this guy for real?

At least Guy Zima didn't get 'duped' again
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Old September 26th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #2135
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At least Guy Zima didn't get 'duped' again
He's hilarious. "I blame staff." Well maybe if you didn't push it through so quickly and allow some time from staff to see what possible things may come up - then this stuff wouldn't happen. He's running for office, so he couldn't obviously accept any ounce of responsibility but holy cow - I thought Green bay would be better off w/o him, but now everything that he championed is coming back to bite us.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 07:41 PM   #2136
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Flats on the Fox

If you drive or for Puant (bike or walk), by the North side of Flats on the Fox building at night you can see pretty good into the ground units. They have a large front windows that face the North. While they don't appear to be luxurious, they look fairly nice. If it turns into the vibrant downtown that would be a interesting view. It appears the main kitchen/dining area is downstairs & a stairwell leads to the 2nd floor.
On the back of the building there is a large room that faces the Fox with a bunch of windows. This room is under construction.
Hopefully with the subsidized prices so low they can fill up the place. The only real big negative to me is the parking situation.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:23 PM   #2137
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If you drive or for Puant (bike or walk).....
Whoah, wait a minute--I do ASPIRE to walk and bike more but I certainly do drive as well, particularly in the fall & winter. In this town, it's really tough to get around without cars---everything is so spread out.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:18 PM   #2138
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Here I go being critical again... I drove past the Flats yesterday and I noticed a couple of things: 1.) the curbs along that stretch of Washington have been chipped away to an extraordinary degree (skateboarders? construction equipment?). I was kind of shocked by how rundown they look already. 2.) The North face of the building, facing what would be Astor Place... it has a terrible sense of scale for pedestrians. It's just not comfortable on a psychological level to be adjacent to such an almost unbroken expanse of verticality. I don't think those retail spaces are going to feel right unless they put in something to break it up, like awnings or some kind of arbor.
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Technically, I'm more of a native than a nativist...
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #2139
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Whoah, wait a minute--I do ASPIRE to walk and bike more but I certainly do drive as well, particularly in the fall & winter. In this town, it's really tough to get around without cars---everything is so spread out.

[
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Old September 29th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #2140
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Has anyone tried the Republic Chophouse yet? My wife and I went there this weekend to try it out.

I was amazed at what they did with the building. I had been in it several times when it was Reiser's Diamond Vault as our retail store and offices were next door. The transformation is amazing!

The service was great and the food was great as well.

I do wonder if the pricing will be a bit high for the area but then again it is inline with Hinterland which seems to do well.

They do have a nice web site with many images located at http://www.republicchophouse.com.
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