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At what cost? 'Exciting' development raising concerns for local church

Parking accessibility, proximity to church among concerns from some in the community
New Land enterprises Apartments
Posted at 5:52 PM, May 21, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — A large apartment building could be built literally just a few steps from the front door of Spring Lake Church.

  • Video shows an eight story apartment building proposed to come to downtown Green Bay.
  • The building would feature 268 units, a swimming pool and retail space
  • The north wall of the structure is literally steps from the doors of Spring Lake Church
  • The church says it's seeking compromise, including moving its entrance with financial help from the city.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story.)

Eight stories, 268 apartments and 38-million dollars in new property value.

The plan is something Spring Lake Church downtown pastor, Bill Van Kirk, admits is great for downtown Green Bay.

"We're gonna have a neighbor with tons of people there that's exciting," Van Kirk said. "The part that's not exciting is maybe how they planned the development, which was just so close to our building and really affecting our front door."

The church opened its downtown location about six years ago. Pastor Van Kirk says they invested about $3 million.

"We're not angry, we're not like super upset about everything, we really just think that if a neighbor does something that affects you in a really big way, then they should do whatever they can to mitigate that concern," Van Kirk said.

The complex is proposed to built in the parking lot at the corner of Cherry St. and Adams St. to address housing demands.

Developers are now seeking council approval. The City meets on Tuesday night.

"268 additional housing units within the downtown will certainly help us start to address that shortage," Matt Buchanan, Deputy Development Director of Green Bay, said.

The lot is owned by the Redevelopment Authority and Buchanan says the authority has always planned to develop that area.

Van Kirk says his church continues to speak with the city about some kind of compromise.

"Even if an eight-story building goes up in front of our building we're still here," Van Kirk said. "We're still going to love Green Bay and we're going to do everything in our power to continue to do that."

Buchanan says there will still be room for plenty of parking especially at the Pine St. structure and the Cherry St. ramp.

Developers say construction could start as early as October.