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Updated Plans for Delphi Site Revealed

The former Delphi site at the corner of Drexel and Howell has a new name and refined plans.

Oak Creek used the Friday to show off refined plans for the Delphi redevelopment project and announce a major grant to pay for concrete removal at the site.

The project has a new name: Drexel Town Square. Plans are along the same lines as those -- they create a new "downtown" for Oak Creek and call for a mix of residential, retail, and civic uses.

The proposal unveiled Friday essentially divides the 85 acres into three areas: a residential component on the west, a town square in the middle and larger retail close to Howell Avenue.

The town square will feature the new library and city hall and an area for public activities -- one possibility that has been floated is an ice rink. The square could also feature some small shops or kiosks, as well as some retail and restaurants with apartments on top along a "walkable Main Street."

"I think that's going to be the big thing for our city that residents really care about – being able to go out and enjoy a public area," Mayor Steve Scaffidi said.

The residential part will likely be a mix of condominiums and apartments similar in style to Milwaukee's Third Ward. The eastern portion, meanwhile, will be home to larger retail and possibly a few more restaurants.

The plans are evolving as officials continue talking with prospective companies. Officials from the city and Wispark, the developer and owner of the Delphi site, will continue recruitment efforts at the International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas later this month.

"Early interest from developers and businesses is strong," Scaffidi said. "That's an indication to me that it's going to move pretty quick. It could be a pretty quick changeover from what is just an empty lot to an exciting place.

"If it's not unique, we haven't done our job. It should be a unique place that people really want to go to."

While discussions with businesses continue, plans for the new library and city hall are moving forward. Those buildings, paid for with money the city gets from hosting We Energies' power plant, could be the first constructed at the former Delphi site. City officials hope to take occupancy by the end of 2014.

The city also announced it has received a $1.15 million grant to remove the concrete at the site. Officials said it will greatly reduce clean-up costs and aid in redevelopment.

It's the largest grant the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has ever awarded, Scaffidi said.

"They recognize how big this interchange and development sites are in the area of job creation," Scaffidi said.

jack ryan May 06, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Is this going to correct the horrendous traffic flow job they did with the traffic pinball that goes on near Woodmans and Ace?
curious1 May 07, 2012 at 02:18 AM
At first glance, it looks like very little building area and a comparatively large amount of paking lot area. I would ave expexted more buildings positioned along the streets with parking behind - thereby concealing the large parking fields from casual view..
Chris L May 07, 2012 at 02:16 PM
So did I. But the fact that yet another "project" gets done half-assedly by the powers that be in Oak Creek is not surprising at all.
Mike in OC May 07, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I hope this isnt one of these, "if we build it, they will come" deals.... they need to get tennants committed to this project before taking such a huge risk....
Resident of O.C. Paul May 07, 2012 at 06:18 PM
I agree with you Mike. If you take a ride around there are a lot of vacant industrial/warehouse/commercial space, and store fronts in Oak Creek. I just hope Wis Park/We Energies money didn't cloud anyone's judgement...with the economy the way it is we need logical, level headed, common sense people steering the ship through the iceberg field. Playing craps with the taxpayers money and rolling snake eyes is all we need.
Patriot May 07, 2012 at 11:28 PM
A little off topic but thought some may find this interesting!! Just remember Wisconsin Forward with Gov Walker. http://youtu.be/Fys7fzGtAcI @OC Paul..... Yes many new vacant store fronts and old thruout the area. The entire buidling off of Rawson, the old bank building off of Ryan. Yes total waste!!
Mr.Ed May 08, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Everyone is so giddy about this development. I truly hope 10 years after it is built, it has some appeal to the general public. (read sarcasm, AKA, Market Place, Chicago and Puetz; Milwaukee Ave in South Milwaukee) In the end, this is a piece of land relatively small in the big picture, and only exposed to traffic by two roads. Its landlocked by a railroad and big shopping center (so will never expand past these boundaries). Its hard to envision this as a city center or city showpiece or hub of excellence that people will feel the need to go to. In 10 years, 20 years... will we be saying "what were we thinking" "that never really turned into what we all thought it would be"? I can't imagine getting in my car to drive into the area, to walk by the water drainage basin in order to watch the trains go by. I can't help but wonder if we are throwing money at something just to throw money at it. The shiny object has caught our attention, and now well all pay for it.
Mr.Ed May 08, 2012 at 03:46 AM
We have decided the library and city hall are going on this site. Fine. We should treat the corner as a continuum of the rest of the block, only containing a nice area to house the two city buildings. (with more space when Sonic goes under) Our city moneys would be better spent developing 5th Avenue between Ryan and Puetz. Make a "Lake Drive" development.... "the emperor has no clothes!" If you need a reminder on that check: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006050209041
Kathy Grom May 10, 2012 at 01:23 PM
The leaders plan on building condos and apartments "similar in style to Milwaukee's Third Ward" - it would be nice if they would also recruit shops and restaurants like they have there such as Wicked Hop, Coquette Cafe, Anthropologie and Hot Pop. Instead we will probably end up with another phone store and crappy pizza chain like the other strip malls in the area. Or even worse, a chiropractor or dentist's office. And if we take a lesson from Greendale's Village, we should put the City Hall way in back up against the railroad tracks. On weekends those buildings are closed and the main thoroughfare looks vacant. Who wants to look at a vacant parking lot and a closed building in the middle of the city square?

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