Packers own millions in property, but nothing is being done with it

GREEN BAY (WITI) -- The Green Bay Packers own millions of dollars in property around Lambeau Field. It's prime real estate, so why isn't the team taking action?

What began with a handful of properties near Lambeau Field, has grown and expanded all the way to Highway 41.

Back in 2007, the Packers had eight properties on the west-side of Lambeau.

Today, the organization owns 16 parcels in that area valued at $23,990,600. The area, known as the Titletown District, keeps growing.

The most recent addition to the Packers' portfolio is a chiropractor's office on True Lane.

"Conceptual is a good way to describe it," Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey said.

Popkey says the organization still does not have any specific plans for its properties.

Popkey says it remains to be seen how long it will take for the area to be developed.

"It's not as if it's vacant land and you can say, 'Okay, here we go. We know what we want to do next.' We're looking at it in a long view," Popkey said.

Popkey says there has been some development, but not as much as some thought there would be.

The most notable development in the Titletown District is Cabela's, which opened this summer. Popkey says say since the announcement of Cabela's, several retailers have expressed interest in the Titletown District. But so far, there is nothing concrete.

Beyond that, most of the properties remain as they've been for years.

Mer Meyer sold his property for $1 million in 2007. He thought it would be developed right away.

"I am (surprised the building is still there) because they said they're all going to be ripped down. Had I known that I would've kept it up and sold it to the Packers for $1.2 million," Meyer said.

Village leaders say they aren't concerned.

"I think most people thought that they had this elaborate plan from the beginning and that they knew what was going to go in there and they knew what the stores were going to be, etc. Nothing could've been further from the truth," Ashwaubenon Village President Mike Aubinger said.

"I think before I was elected in 2008 I'd probably be the guy on the outside going, what's wrong here? Why isn't it going faster? Now that I've had the time period to see how this works and what you have to do to make it work I'd say no i'm not surprised anymore," Aubinger said.

"We want to be prudent. We don't want to rush things," Popkey said.

Popkey says another issue is the fact that some of the properties still have existing businesses.

"We've got great relationships with them. So there's really no hurry to move beyond what's already existing," Popkey said.

The owner of Pomp's Tire says its lease expires in April. While Pomp's has purchased another tire dealer on the west-side, the owner says there's a possibility the company will work out a year-to-year lease with the Packers and remain in the Titletown District.

That's what the owner of Sideline Sports Bar did. After the bar's five-year lease with the Packers expired, they went to a year-to-year lease.

The largest parcel the Packers own is Kmart. Kmart officials would not comment on its lease now but in 2007, the company had an 11-year lease with the Packers. That means it would expire in 2018. So any major development there could still be years away.

The Packers say while the organization is looking into more economic development ideas, their primary focus remains on football.

Village leaders expect there to be more development talk once the season is complete.