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Walmart officials indicate big box or nothing after meeting with Green Bay Mayor


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt says Walmart officials tell him they will be doing some “tweaking” to the proposed 150,000 sq ft store design for the downtown. 

Schmitt and Walmart officials met Thursday afternoon. 

The mayor has been against a big box store for the 15 acre site that was once the Larsen cannery. He wanted to find out if Walmart was willing to build a smaller store with just groceries, which is in high demand for residents in the area.

“When they look at their model of just a grocery store, one of these neighborhood fresh markets or Walmart neighborhood store, that isn’t what they are looking to do here” Schmitt said. 

Schmitt says “they need to sell general merchandise and other things to make the store work.”

Schmitt says they were receptive to building on other sites they were not aware of.  Schmitt pointed out a site along Velp Avenue on the west side while taking a tour of the city.

Schmitt says the city and Walmart will meet again in a couple weeks after they do some research. 

“I think in two weeks we have to have a direction, that’s going to be kind of the go or no go, on a couple different things” Schmitt said. 

Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia sent this emailed response after the meeting:

“We appreciate the Mayor’s time today.  His feedback and perspective on community needs are important as we work to plan a store that best fits within the Downtown Green Bay plan and is part of the solution to the issues facing the growing downtown population, specifically quality jobs and access to affordable merchandise and fresh groceries.”