The City of Sturgeon Bay has received a request from Fincantieri Marine Group, LLC (owner of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding) to vacate portions of N. 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street. On Oct. 20, the council voted to introduce the resolution and proceed with reviewing the anticipated impacts on the traffic patterns and surrounding area, scrutinizing the submitted Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA), and obtaining public input.
Fincantieri has expressed interest in purchasing the land and buildings soon to be vacated by Palmer Johnson who is closing at the end of the month. According to Todd Thayse, general manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, closing portions of N. 1st Avenue and Jefferson Street would allow Fincantieri to safely operate the two plants as one fully integrated shipyard. The purchase is conditional on the city vacating the streets.
Thayse told the City Council that Fincantieri has invested in excess of $30 million already in equipment, brick and mortar and current operations. He added that Fincantieri has a healthy backlog of work into 2017 and remains Sturgeon Bay’s largest employer.
“Obviously Fincantieri sees Sturgeon Bay as an opportunity for growth. We see the purpose-built buildings of Palmer Johnson being occupied and not sitting vacant,” said Thad Birmingham, Mayor, Sturgeon Bay. “It’s not everyday a global company chooses to expand in a small Midwestern town. They could grow their business anywhere and they are asking to grow in Sturgeon Bay.”