Wispark's property at Drexel and Howell, where a new town center is planned, has gotten most of the buzz in 2013.
But the 220 vacant acres Wispark owns on Oakwood Road—slated for a business park—has also drawn a lot of interest, Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi said.
Scaffidi said he expects activity on the as-yet-to-be-created Oak View Business Park, just west of Howell Avenue, to pick up this summer. Wispark plans a mix of manufacturing, light industrial, office and service uses.
"We can't get that infrastructure in fast enough," Scaffidi said.
Scaffidi said the area's major benefit is its location, near both the freeway and airport. Chicago is just 80 miles to the south, as well.
It is also near a very-high-speed Internet terminal that lies by the railroad tracks. That has sparked interest from data centers and other businesses that need to quickly process data, Scaffidi said.
Nucor Cold Finish bases its national data center at its Oak Creek facility, 400 W. Burkhard Court, in large part because of the terminal. Scaffidi said other companies may also look to take advantage of the high-speed Internet at the new business park.
"We're going to tap into that for Oak View to try to find companies that are looking to do that," Scaffidi said.
Talks have been ongoing, though nothing is finalized. Sites between three and 25 acres are available for purchase.
Activity could begin in earnest in summer, about the same time as Drexel Town Square.
"You're going to see a lot of dump trucks, a lot of digging going on this summer," Scaffidi said.
Wispark, the development arm of We Energies, is obligated to invest $20 million in community projects as part of the agreement to build a power plant on Elm Road. The $20 million comes from We Energies shareholders, not rate-payers.
In addition to the business park and Drexel Town Square, to be constructed on the former Delphi property, Wispark is also redeveloping the Oak Creek lakefront. Plans call for a mix of residential, retail, commercial and public spaces.