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Green Bay's biggest development project ever brings new east side neighborhood

JBS Foods donated more than 25 acres to the city, plans to create affordable housing for workers
Posted at 10:20 PM, Mar 08, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — In what is the biggest redevelopment project the city will do in years, an empty lot on Green Bay's east side looks to evolve into a neighborhood featuring a destination park, urban farming, and housing options.

  • JBS Foods donated 25.61 acres of land to the city in 2020. The city also received $5 million to support the project.
  • One of the goals of the development is to provide affordable housing for workers near companies like JBS Foods.
  • 40 stakeholders, consisting of a variety of community leaders, were selected to provide input in the process.

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

In a field full of weeds, the city has plans to turn it into one of the biggest development projects it has seen in years.

In 2020, JBS Foods offered to donate a part of the area between Guns Rd. and Lime Kiln Rd. to the city to build a park.

Mayor Eric Genrich said the city agreed but with some requests.

"We, as a city, as a community, as a region we're really in desperate need of housing from the low-income level all the way up to luxury," Mayor Genrich said.

Throw in a $5 million grant from the state's Neighborhood Investment Fund and the city created a three-pillar focus for the now-vacant field.

The three include a destination playground, an urban farm site, and housing.

"We had a team of 40 stakeholders that really informed the process here made sure what we were designing was necessary," Mayor Genrich said.

Mayor Genrich added that the project will help make sure companies like JBS Foods, provide accessible housing for its workers — A company that hires many Black and brown workers.

According to city documents, there are 25.61 acres of land to develop. The city hopes to have a minimum of 130 to 200 housing units.

I met up with Major Malinda O'Neil of Salvation Army Kroc Community Center, which is next door to the site.

"As a community center, having neighbors is having people that you can interact with, that we can impact, that they can help us with what we're doing here," O'Neil said."Just having more people live in our neighborhood is a great thing."

Mayor Genrich said the request for proposals is due by March 29, which at that time will give them a better sense of the development's look, cost, and developers.

He also said the 2025 NFL Draft is not linked to the urgency of the project.