Aimed at supporting an already active development climate, the City of Green Bay Economic Development Department initiated a Housing Survey project to gauge interest in current and future housing options, particularly downtown. Additionally, the survey connects community housing interest with an assessment of downtown lifestyle amenities and needs. The project was a joint effort by the Department and urban economic development agencies: On Broadway Inc., Downtown Green Bay Inc. and Olde Main Street Inc.
Survey respondents are overwhelmingly happy with event and entertainment options now available downtown, but stressed a lack of quality and variety of housing options available. Of the nearly 1,900 respondents, 35% plan to leave behind the traditional single-family home lifestyle in the foreseeable future. They named condominiums and townhouses as the future option of most interest.
This survey comes on the heels of a recent study of downtown housing demand contracted by the City of Green Bay as both developer and consumer interest has risen in recent months. The study, conducted by Baker Tilly, showcased the multifamily vacancy rate at 2.3%. With that, it was deemed the market can immediately support 284 additional market-rate units without the migration of new interest. Coincidently, it was conservatively estimated within the study that 25 – 30% of new downtown renters will originate from outside the area.
The survey was conducted in January of 2013 via the online platform Survey Monkey. Many major downtown employers agreed to participate, including Wisconsin Public Service, Associated Bank, Schreiber Foods and the City of Green Bay among others. It was also promoted heavily through the downtown e-newsletters, “What’s Up, Downtown” and the “Broadway Beat”.