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Wheaton Franciscan Plans Expansion: Can It Help 27th Street?

Wheaton is planning to build a 65,000-square-foot building on vacant land next to its Franklin hospital that will allow for more cardiac services.

Oak Creek and Franklin officials believe a planned expansion at Wheaton Franciscan Hospital could help pick up the pace on efforts to redevelop 27th Street.

Wheaton is planning to build a 65,000-square-foot building on what is now a cornfield to the north of its Franklin facility, 10101 S. 27th St. The expansion is expected to eventually create about 100 new jobs.

Pending Franklin city approvals, construction is expected to begin in late summer and be finished by late spring or early summer of 2013, hospital president Dan Mattes said.

The expansion will allow the hospital to provide more cardiac services for its patients.

"What happens is if someone has a heart attack, they have to be transferred," Mattes said. "Beginning in 2014, that will no longer have to happen.

"Our anticipation is that everybody in Franklin and Oak Creek and surrounding communities come here for all of their services. They no longer leave the community and drive to Milwaukee for services."

Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor said Wheaton's continued growth could lead to a regional medical center, similar to the area of Wauwatosa that is home to Froedtert, Children's Hospital and GE Healthcare.

When those facilities were created, development including hotels and restaurants sprang up around it, Taylor said. He believes the same thing could happen here.

"This is a very, very great plus for the area," Taylor said.

Development efforts along 27th Street have been slow. But Taylor said they may be reaching a turning point with the Wheaton expansion and Drexel Interchange on its way.

Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi agreed, adding that it's important for Franklin and Oak Creek to work together on improving the 27th Street corridor.

"Mayor Taylor and I are pledging and willing to work together on development," Scaffidi said. "We have to. It's a shared border, and everything they do impacts us and vice versa."

Taylor and Scaffidi both noted how Gov. Scott Walker talked about 27th Street in remarks at the Drexel Interchange groundbreaking, showing how important the corridor is to the area.

Alderman Tom Michalski, who represents part of the Oak Creek side of 27th Street, said the addition could benefit neighboring businesses by bringing more workers and people to the area. New restaurants like and could see an uptick in business, for example.

"Any addition onto the hospital will add to the traffic counts and to the people working at the facility, and will aid in getting any kind of work done on 27th Street," Michalski said.

Lynn Roth June 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I used to work @ the Hospital on 27TH st. The biggest complaint from family members, & friends when I was there, is we have to be sent out anyways!! I would share this with my manager. I believe it's growth will be good for all involved, I worked in Racine (SMMC) Wheaton campus, I transferred because I live right down the RD. I could see the new kinks that needed ironing @ that time, Just like any new outfit (Business) working in Endosopy, could see the growth, We were still to small @ that time, & all the Emergencies that had to be sent out, that was before ICU had been built. After my 2ND back surgery, I could no longer work, now disabled, would love to see all this happen, & this fully functioning Hospital,needs more room!! that we, as the community, know we wouldn't be shipped out, not to mention all the new jobs this will create!! Good luck Wheaton, I sure miss my time with you, co-workers, & Mostly, my pt's!!!
Dan Vitek June 22, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Again more development in Frankloin and nothing in Oak Creek, The city fathers are more worried about building a fancy city hall the getting a good tax base in the city. We have aplaning comission that shoud be given the axe a bunch of real dead beats look at what we get in Oak Creek fast food stores, strip malls and empty warehouses Oh dont forget we gave the deadbeat a extension on the 4 point hotel deal even though he is broke Way to go Mayor
Neil June 22, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I completely agree. The idiots that the ignorant public have voted for lack any kind of real vision for the city beyond building fancy new offices for themselves. Can't wait to be gone from here soon. OC had a great opportunity and has made the wrong decision time after time.
Franklin Today June 22, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Wow Dan and Neil, That is how we feel in Franklin. Nothing ever gets built here because the knuckleheads at City Hall are always asking for perfection. This expansion to Wheaton did not come about because of Tommy Taylor nor did Northwestern Mutual and any plans they have for expansion in the next few years. It has been despite the Mayor's bungling. We have lost out to development both large and small due to Mayor Tom Taylor, his minion Alderman Kenny Skowronski (on the Mayors Planning Commission) and the joke we call Franklin Forward. In addition there has been a band of local citizens called the CCD who have tried to get a decent community park developed here in Franklin but Mayor Taylor and his puppets have fought the idea, putting all sorts of road blocks in our way.
Mr.Ed June 23, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Interesting. Oak Creek has Menards. Franklin has Northwestern Mutual Life, and the Wheaton Hospital. Both NML and Wheaton plan to expand greatly in future years. Not so much for Menards. Instead, well develop the A/C Delco land that is land locked on the west by train tracks and south by Woodmans, with little potential to attract growth, even thought it will be a mile from the new freeway exit. Sounds like Franklin has the bigger end of the stick on this one.
Be Logical June 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Caterpillar Mining Global Headquarters, Yaskawa Electric, NDT, Johnstone, Crotthal Laundry Services, Nucor, and many more adding up to over 1000 new jobs in Oak Creek in the past 5 years...I guess if you actually look for new business you will find it. I think Oak Creek is very pro-business, and probably will be even more agressive in the future given the land they have available for development.
Debra Mueller June 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Wheaton Franciscan along with the Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital is one of the nicest hospitals in the Milwaukee area and I have been to just about all of them. I hope Franklin and Oak Creek can work together to make 27th street a nice corridor for the area, not like Bluemound!
Mr.Ed June 28, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I remit. Good to hear.
Mr.Ed June 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I agree with Debra. As both a patient and staff member I have watched this facility grow in the right direction. Most importantly Wheaton-Franklin is growing with a commitment to quality care and patient satisfaction. Far too often I hear horror stories from other organizations where people complain they are treated like 'just a number' or 'like I’m in a cattle coral'. This expansion will be great, as the staff is dedicated to getting it right. WHY NOT have all the care right in our own back yard? I just wish it was across the street in Oak Creek :)

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