We think that mixed use, downtown-style development is the best fit for downtown. We love the Broadway District and we want more of it. Mixed use development would allow for more residents, more small businesses, and more recreational and cultural opportunities. It would also mean denser development that would add many times more to the tax base than a Walmart. If you agree with us, then please send a note to Nic Sparacio at the City of Green Bay before March 3rd.
1. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Mail: 100 N Jefferson St., Room 608, Green Bay WI 54301.
3. Drop off at the city planning department on sixth floor, City Hall.
Here is the text of what we wrote to the city:
February 5, 2014
To whom it may concern,
We are writing to voice our strong support for the Plan Commission’s decision to give the Larsen Green parcel the ‘downtown’ land use designation. We have owned and operated a business in the Broadway District for nearly fifteen years. In that time, we have spoken to thousands of people and we know that Broadway is a special place. Not just for those who live in nearby neighborhoods, but for all of Northeastern Wisconsin. Our customers come to the district not just from Green Bay, but Appleton, Door County, Marinette, and the rest of the region.
The Plan Commission’s designation will allow for the implementation of the downtown master plan, which envisions a largely residential area with commercial uses and green spaces. This will strengthen and complement what has already been achieved. It is the right vision for downtown Green Bay, which will drive economic growth in our region.
On the other hand, the commercial designation, with its suburban style big box stores and traffic would alter the district beyond recognition. It would make downtown a very ordinary place that would do little to attract and retain new businesses. Furthermore, numerous independent economic studies have indicated that it would adversely effect locally owned businesses throughout Green Bay and the district. The biggest cost, however, would be opportunity cost. As Rob Strong said in December, Larsen Green can offer much more to Green Bay’s economy, culture, and tax base.
It is true that efforts since 2007 to market Larsen Green have been unsuccessful apart from Walmart’s proposal. However, we were going through the deepest recession since the Great Depression for much of it and Walmart had it locked up for the rest. With a clear vision, like that of the downtown master plan, and a more qualified economic development team in place, we feel that the project will be a success.
Alex and Linda Galt
Owners, Kavarna Coffeehouse