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Group opposing downtown Wal-Mart store circulates petition

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - A group opposing a potential Wal-Mart store in Green Bay's Broadway District is circulating a petition hoping to rally supporters.

"We think a Wal-Mart would be detrimental to local businesses,” said Eric Gabrielson, the lone spokesperson for a group called B Local.

Made up of people who say they live and shop in the area, B Local says it doesn't want a big box store on Broadway.

“It's not so much how big it is, it's where it is and who it is,” said Gabrielson.

The petition's directed at Wal-Mart's CEO, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and On Broadway Inc.

Officials with On Broadway Inc. say the petition is premature.

"It's not reacting to a particular proposal. However, the way it's written, it does speak more to a particular concept and that's appropriate,” On Broadway Inc. Executive Director Christopher Naumann told FOX 11.

Wal-Mart has not presented a final proposal for the property on the old Larsen Cannery site.

However, Wal-Mart has shown some aldermen preliminary ideas, including a brick-facade building with a parking lot and a retention pond.

Wal-Mart told those city officials the store would be about two-thirds the size of other area Wal-Mart stores.

On Broadway, Inc. says it's still waiting to hear from Wal-Mart about what the company wants to do with the property. But before a formal proposal comes out, there could be public forums.

“I think the fact that the idea is even out there is an insult to what they've been trying to do down here,” said Alex Pichette of Green Bay, sketching in a notebook outside of Kavarna.

"We want it. All the people in my neighborhood want to see it come in. It's just the businesspeople that don't want it here,” said Elton Deneil, walking past the proposed site, which he says is two blocks from his home.

B Local did not give a time frame for its petition.

On Broadway says it could not give a time estimate for when Wal-Mart must make a proposal by, but says the company is within its 30 day window.