I was happy to attend today’s formal groundbreaking of Oak Creek’s Drexel Town Square downtown development, and I left impressed.
The project was called “transformational,” and I can’t disagree. What an opportunity for Oak Creek — a chance to create a city center from scratch with a mix of civic, retail, residential and other uses.
Over the next five to seven years, you’ll see a new city hall, library, hotel (Four Points Sheraton), big box retailer (Meijer), apartments and small Main Street merchants rise from the site at Howell and Drexel Avenues. Farmers’ market, splash pad, ice skating, a town square, greenspace … the list goes on. Added to that list Saturday was Water Street Brewery, which announced its plans to build at Drexel Town Square at a ceremony held at the site.
I’m excited about the project. Some might view it as a negative for South Milwaukee — simply more competition for us when it comes to attracting retailers to our city. I take a different view. This is not “us vs. them,” not zero sum. Yes, Drexel Town Square ratchets up competition, but a project like this lifts the entire region, the entire South Shore, South Milwaukee included. We are all better because of projects like Drexel Town Square.