The City of Sturgeon Bay has responded to hotel developer Bob Papke’s decision to pull out of a project on the city’s west side waterfront. In a news release issued Friday afternoon by City Administrator Josh VanLieshout, the city said it was aware of Papke’s concerns and dissatisfaction and was working on a resolution to them. Mayor Thad Birmingham said he was surprised by Papke’s action. In the short term, the city intends to review his claim and take appropriate action. The two sides had worked since 2014 to create the kind of economic reinvestment that, in turn, would generate the dollars needed to provide better public space and attractions. However, the hotel and public aspects have been delayed by a lawsuit challenging the redevelopment project and title to lands.
The news release points out that for 40 years the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority has been working to eliminate blight, invigorate and stimulate retail activity, and bring people to the Sturgeon Bay’s waterfront, with great success. The west waterfront redevelopment project is the last piece in the effort. Mayor Birmingham added that residents of the whole city and especially those on the west side, deserve to have a completed waterfront parkway and the recreational opportunities it brings without seeing their property taxes rise substantially. He said the city will continue its efforts, the title issues will be resolved and the waterfront parkway and other improvements will get done.
To read the city’s full release click the link below
Press Release City of Sturgeon Bay Papke 170609 REV