Green Bay gets $6 million in grants

green bay
Courtesy Google Earth Pro

GREEN BAY: Green Bay is going to get $6 million in federal subsidies to expand public facilities in the Shipyard redevelopment area and to clean up a toxic former sheet metal production site.

Additionally, if everything goes according to plan, locals may be able to observe some of the federally-funded work from the brand-new riverfront trail that is presently being built on the 16-acre Shipyard site, which is situated on the Fox River’s western shore just north of the Mason Street flyover.

The city received a $1 million Brownfield Cleanup Grant from the US EPA to address various soil and groundwater contamination issues at the former Badger Sheet Metal location on South Broadway. Additionally, the city received a $5 million Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant from the U.S. National Park Service for the second phase of recreational enhancements.

The two distinct projects, for which work is anticipated to begin in 2024, should be mostly funded by grants, according to Matt Buchanan, a senior economic development analyst for the city of Green Bay.

What is the Shipyard Redevelopment Area in Green Bay?

The Fox River, Mason Street, Ashland Avenue, and Bridge Street serve as the general borders of the Shipyard redevelopment area. The city originally announced plans in 2017 to turn the area’s abandoned industrial site and empty, city-owned riverside property into a sports bar, an indoor music hall, and a new baseball stadium for the Green Bay Rockers.

The city revised the site plans to emphasize multifamily housing, public leisure areas, and a commercial plaza along South Broadway following the relocation of the stadium and music venue to Ashwaubenon. By early 2024, Merge Urban Development, based in Iowa, plans to begin construction on a 225-unit apartment complex consisting of two buildings.

In order to pay for the purchase of the property, site preparations, and the initial phase of public amenities, the city established a tax incremental financing district, or TIF, for the location and has borrowed roughly $12.1 million.

When will the public access the riverfront trail at the Shipyard?

As work on the first phase of public improvements to the 16-acre site on the western shore of the Fox River, just north of the Mason Street overpass, continues, grants start to come.

The initial work phase consists of:

  • Riverfront promenade/multimodal path,
  • Floating dock,
  • Fishing pier,
  • Habitat enhancement, and
  • Accessible kayak launch

The project should be finished by spring 2024, while Buchanan noted that the precise date will rely on a number of variables that might affect building projects, such as the supply chain and the weather.

“We’ll probably still be installing the landscaping and finishing touches in the spring, but we anticipate being open for business in the summer,” Buchanan stated.

Projects including dog parks and playgrounds will be funded by a $5 million award

The second phase of public improvements, which will expand on the first phase’s work, will be financed by a $5 million grant from the National Park Service. The grant, which was announced on October 6 by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who backed it, enables the city to preserve the environment and rehabilitate land in a way that boosts regional economic growth.

On the southernmost portion of the property, phase two plans call for an urban beach, a dog park, an event lawn, and a playground.

Although Buchanan stated the city has already completed a significant amount of preliminary engineering work on the improvements, the Green Bay City Council will still need to formally accept the money. He stated that after the funding is received, the city will employ an engineering company to create construction documentation that will be put out for bids by contractors.

According to the estimated schedule, phase two construction will begin in late 2024, he said.

With an EPA grant, the Badger Sheet Metal site’s asbestos, PCBs, arsenic, and lead will be cleaned up

The former Badger Sheet Metal site at 420 S. Broadway, which was the preliminary location of a 238-unit housing development proposed last year, is one of the sites the city purchased for redevelopment.

According to Buchanan, the majority of the expenses for demolishing the buildings, clearing most of the polluted soil, and filling the site with clean topsoil in preparation for reconstruction will be met by the $1 million EPA grant. In order to defray the cost of upcoming projects in the Shipyard redevelopment area, he continued, the city is still looking for additional funding.

When it was first there, the area was a slough—pronounced “sloo”—that empties into the Fox River. Between 1907 and 1936, it was filled in to provide additional space for industrial growth. According to Buchanan, a portion of the fill dirt utilized at the location was tainted.

The soil and groundwater were further polluted by decades of industrial use. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic chemicals such as benzene, tetrachloroethylene, arsenic, and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, were discovered during tests conducted on the site. It will be necessary to carefully remove asbestos and lead-based paint from the sheet metal production facility.

The “green infrastructure corridor” will try to address the problem of floods

Even though the former drainage site was filled nearly a century ago, runoff still makes its way to the Badger Sheet Metal property, which is still vulnerable to flooding, according to Buchanan.

According to Buchanan, the city plans to create a “green infrastructure corridor” that will catch and filter stormwater in order to fulfill the site’s drainage requirements.

“It will make the neighborhood more resilient to flooding and capture some phosphorus and sediment preventing it from entering the Fox River,” Buchanan stated.

A pedestrian pathway connecting the Shipyard recreation spaces to the west of the Maple Street neighborhood of Seymour Park would also be a part of the green corridor.

Talks on a possible initiative to build affordable housing at the Badger Sheet Metal facility are still ongoing

The city and Impact Seven, a developer of affordable housing, are still in talks on a proposal to build 238 apartments on the Badger Sheet Metal site.

The Rice Lake-based developer intended to construct 98 one-bedroom, 116 two-bedroom, and 24 three-bedroom homes on the property, according to a term sheet that was approved last year. A portion of the apartments would be reserved for low-income residents in the neighborhood.

In order for the project to proceed, the city and Impact Seven need to sign a development agreement that lays out the developer’s and city’s obligations.

Read more from News Intercept:

Charles Feeney Dies at 92

2 thoughts on “Green Bay gets $6 million in grants”

Leave a Comment

Seraphinite AcceleratorOptimized by Seraphinite Accelerator
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines.