Drexel Town Square: Readers Weigh In
It was a busy week for Drexel Town Square news and plenty of Patch readers had something to say about it.
Oak Creek officials weren't kidding when they said the Drexel Town Square project would heat up in early 2013.
This week, more than 200 residents attended a public meeting in which developers presented the most updated plans for the former Delphi site, at the corner of Drexel and Howell avenues.
Many Oak Creek residents focused on the Meijer component of the project, as Patch detailed in this Feb. 12 story. The proposal for a big box store has been criticized since news leaked in December and continued that way this week.
Patch readers were also vocal.
I don't really see why they keep saying they need an anchor store to bring traffic to the area. It's right next to Woodmans, which already brings plenty of traffic as well as being right on Howell Ave. that has plenty of traffic. It's not like this development is out in the country or an out of the way place, it's right on a busy road in a city with plenty of people. Any stores there would have customers because it's a prime location, they don't need some anchor store to attract people to see other stores.
Pathetic! It sounds like they're admitting that they're only going with Meijer since it's the only anchor they can get. I don't think the majority of residents would mind waiting to have the land developed until a suitable anchor was found. I wonder what they'll do when Meijer goes out of business 2 years after it's built. (When the chain discovers where its customer demographic is in WI and decides to built bigger, newer stores in other locations.) Oak Creek is being used by Meijer just as much as Oak Creek is using it to get this town center development built. I can't believe the thought pattern on this one!
Sandy Fredenburgh Ahlensdorf:
Slow your roll Oak Creek! What is the rush to develop this site with the wrong anchor? Let's take our time and do it right. The plans look beautiful with the exception of Meijer. Please find something better. I look forward to seeing a new library with a great kids' area and media resource center - but that doesn't mean we should rush off and marry our first proposal in fear we won't have another that suits our city's needs better. Oak Creek deserves better and I'm willing to wait for it.
However, the Meijer store is just one component of a multi-faceted development.
Plans also call for the city's first true downtown, with first-floor shops and second-floor apartments leading to a town square. On the other side of the town square will be a new library and city hall. To the west of the downtown, about 500 to 600 high-end apartments are planned.
A new animated video and slideshow shown at the meeting and posted Wednesday on Patch provided the most in-depth picture to date of what developers envision for Drexel Town Square. That also drew reaction from readers.
So I like it. I would make a few changes though. Turn Mejier to face Howell so they have their own entrance there. This way all the traffic will not be focused on Drexel. Most visitors will be from east Howell. The front of the store would not be visable from the "town" side. I would move the city hall north a bit and put more parking behind it. The put a 4 lane road between Mejiers and and Woodmans that leads to that parking.
David J Kane:
I saw an exact copy of this in Bradenton Florida back in 2006. Bradenton is more affluent than Oak Creek. It works there... but won't work here. Oak Creek does NOT have the money to support such an endeavor as this. I predict failure in two years.
I think it looks great! I think the land has been vacant long enough and OC should move forward with the plans. I don't know why so many are opposed to the Meijer store being built. Have you ever been to Woodmans on a Saturday or Sunday...it is PACKED...Last night at Target I couldn't even get to the card area for Valentines Day. Most of the Vday candy was gone. This happens during Christmas and Back to School Sales. People are coming to Oak Creek and this will just generate more options for those of us that actually live here.
I see a lot of multi-story buildings with very little parking near it, that is troubling. Too often designers don't plan this to make it easy for to get around in, but make it look nice on paper.
Also on Wednesday, the first known restaurant to be part of Drexel Town Square emerged: Brick 3 Pizza, which has two locations in downtown Milwaukee and is owned by Rick Barrett, who is developing the residential portion of the site. Readers were split on the news.
A pizza place, really??? We have plenty of places on Howell alone to get pizza. Still not impressed Oak Creek.
Brick 3 is far superior to chain pizza. If you check out their Yelp rating, by actual customers, it's at 4/5. Good NY style pizzas and slices for under $5. It will be a great fit for this community.
With a site plan now presented, recruitment of businesses ongoing and work to remove the concrete on the site set to begin this month, news on Drexel Town Square doesn't figure to quiet down anytime soon.
If you haven't already, weigh in below with your thoughts on the plans so far.