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Questions arise over secretive downtown development agreement


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay city council has approved buying two pieces of downtown property for $275,000 at the corner of Walnut and Adams for a mixed-use development. 

But questions were raised about what the public knew about the agreement that wasn’t disclosed until hours before the meeting.

Alderman Andy Nicolson was the lone vote against and expressed concern about the situation, saying he and other alderman were only given a copy of the agreement just prior to the meeting.  Nicholson says there was no information provided to the public. 

"They had public hearings, but on what, they never shared the subject"  Nicholson said. 

Mayor Jim Schmitt apologized for keeping the agreement confidential, and says the RDA should have been forthright last week at their closed door meeting. Schmitt says they listed the parcel numbers in the agenda. 

Schmitt says for competitive reasons they have to keep the deal underwraps. 

The city plans to buy the vacant Schauer and Schumacher building and a former funeral parlor, with the intent to sell the property to a developer for one dollar. 

In return Benklin Group, LLC would invest $2.6 million. 

The development plan calls for 8-12 loft apartments or condominiums with eight indoor parking spaces along with 3,000 sqft of commercial or retail space.   

Schmitt says an agreement with the seller needed to happen by May 31st.