Plan Commission Recommends Series of Land Swaps, Lakefront Purchase
Land at the lakefront, Delphi, Drexel Avenue all part of commission's recommendations.
The Oak Creek Plan Commission has recommended two sets of land exchanges and a purchase of lakefront property for Common Council approval.
A rundown of the three measures:
The city would exchange properties at 8245 S. 20th St., 2211 W. Drexel Ave. and part of 2301 W. Drexel Ave. with Milwaukee County for a 16-acre property at 2200 W. Drexel Ave.
The county approached the city about the swap so it could expand Falk Park and preserve those properties as park land and open space. As reported Friday, Northwestern Mutual recently got about 50 acres of land from the county near the planned Drexel Interchange.
What will happen with those 16 acres the city gets? It would be transferred to the Oak Creek-Franklin School District, which plans to use the land as a future elementary school site. And it would become part of the next land exchange...
The commission approved the proposed land swap between Wispark, the city and the Oak Creek-Franklin School District.
Under the plan, Wispark gets a 50-acre parcel near Oakwood Road and Howell Avenue for development of a business park, and the city gets seven acres on the former Delphi site on which to build a new library and city hall.
The school district gets the Civic Center site -- 12 acres total, though the community center occupies five -- at the corner of Puetz and Howell for an expansion of Oak Creek High School. It also gets the aforementioned 16 acres at 2200 W. Drexel Ave.
Passage in the Common Council is expected, as support of the land exchanges was part of the Feb. 7 vote to move the city hall and library to Delphi.
The Oak Creek-Franklin School Board approved the land-swap plan March 12.
Finally, the commission recommended the acquisition of 30 acres along the lakefront.
The land was once home to the Peter Cooper Glue Factory and now could be opened up for public access. Wispark purchased 80 acres for a reported $2.3 million and would sell 30 of those acres to the city.
City officials have so far declined to comment on the price, though it's worth noting the $2.3 million for 80 acres breaks down to $28,750 per acre.
The Oak Creek Common Council is expected to review all of this and vote at its next regularly-scheduled meeting on April 2.
The timing, of course, is interesting, given the meeting is the day before the election. Aldermen Michael Toman, Tom Michalski and Dan Bukiewicz are running for re-election; Alderman Steve Scaffidi is running for mayor; and Alderman Ken Gehl is running for county supervisor.
Some residents have called for the vote to wait until after the election, saying a turned-over council could be forced to deal with the previous council's decisions.
But officials have rejected those calls, saying the council and commission have worked on these issues for more than a year and need to keep moving forward.
So it appears as though these swaps and lakefront purchase will be decided before voters head to the polls April 3.