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Wisconsin 2030: Momentum builds in downtown Green Bay

Posted: 7:00 AM, Mar 05, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-05 08:01:32-05
Downtown Green Bay

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Downtown Green Bay has evolved greatly throughout the past ten years.

Now, looking at the next ten, leaders see even more opportunity in housing, working, and entertainment.

"We see downtown as a place where more people would live to live, and over the past few years there have been several hundred residential units under construction, more on the way," Downtown Green Bay executive director Jeff Mirkes said. "It's empty nesters, it's young professionals, and really everything in between."

Mirkes said there will be room to grow and expand a housing market that's typically right at capacity.

"Looking out ten years, we're quite confident that there will be developers stepping up, looking for parcels, looking for views," he said.

Part of the draw of living downtown is that companies are also starting to locate there. Leaders say that's particularly attractive to younger people.

"Talent is a huge issue," Greater Green Bay Chamber's Kelly Armstrong said. "It's the number one issue in economic development, number one issue in any community growth, and that's because everybody needs talent."

"We have wonderful companies that have chosen downtown as the place to be when they're recruiting millennials," Mirkes said. "That's definitely a step in the right direction."

It's not just living and working that makes downtown a draw. Leaders say entertainment is a critical part of their vision, and it's always adapting.

"There's a number of entities that are planning events downtown," Mirkes said. "It's On Broadway, and Downtown, and Olde Main Street, but many other organizations bring events downtown."

"The reclamation of the river for downtown is very transformational," Armstrong said. "We've got great events now on the river, you've goat boat traffic, you've got foot traffic, you've got bike traffic. More activity, more people means more investment, which is more capital coming into the community, which is also more opportunity."

It's all of that coming together that downtown leaders hope can continue building momentum in downtown Green Bay. They're proud of what it looks like in 2020 and ready to move towards 'Wisconsin 2030.'