Around the Town with Mayor Steve: Creating a New Downtown

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Mayor & Council |

On February 11th from 6-8pm Oak Creek residents are invited to attend an open house at the Oak Creek Community Center to view site plans and meet the city’s development partners as we attempt to create a new downtown at Drexel Town Square, formerly the Delphi site on the corner of Howell and Drexel avenues. Representatives from each of the development partners including Wispark, Zilber Property Group, Wired Development, Barrett Visionary Development, Rinka-Chung Architects, Wispark, Bray Architects, and the Meijer Company will be available to answer your questions and present their latest ideas. Since the Common Council voted to move the City Hall and Library to the site in early 2012, significant discussion has taken place, both in the community, and at City Hall, on how to best incorporate civic, retail, residential, and restaurant uses into a mixed-use development which would be both unique and exciting for our residents.

Bray Architects were selected to design the 7-acre library and city hall site, roughly in the center of the Drexel Town Square development, which will be immediately adjacent to a large town square. This public square will eventually be a community gathering space for activities like winter ice skating, farmer’s markets, and other civic events. This once in lifetime opportunity to create a new downtown in Oak Creek is featured in the latest edition of Milwaukee BizTimes magazine, including profiles on the “A-list” of assembled partners in this historic effort.

Rick Barrett, of the Barrett Visionary Group, brings a nationally recognized investment and development company to the project, with notable achievements including the newly-built Moderne high-rise residential tower in Milwaukee, and the proposed Couture, along Milwaukee’s lakefront. He promises to bring an exciting, new vision for the western-most part of the development, which will be focused on residential and green space, with the potential for an enhanced water feature including walking paths, landmark landscaping, and a pedestrian bridge.

Blair Williams, of WIRED Properties, will be developing the mixed-used retail and residential buildings that will serve to highlight the new ‘Main Street’ leading from Drexel Avenue into the town square. WIRED has worked on similar projects in the communities of Milwaukee, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay, and his work features design elements that add texture and value to a community.

While significant discussion surrounds a proposal to locate a new Meijers retail store in the development, residents should know that the presence of a large format retailer on the site doesn’t preclude junior box, smaller retail, and restaurants from playing a role as well. The majority of the property east of the Town Square, along Drexel and Howell Avenues, are set aside for other uses, including local and regional restaurants and diverse retail options. City Staff, Wispark, and your elected officials are committed to finding a plan which balances the vision of a new downtown with an understanding of the current retail market conditions, and ultimately, to drive job creation in the Drexel Towne Square development, and in Oak Creek.

Join us for this important community discussion...

Mayor Steve