Before it was planned for Drexel Town Square the site was a manufacturing and technology development center, built in 1957 by Delco Electronics, Oak Creek’s largest employer. Through the years and a number of corporate changes, it became AC Spark Plug, the AC Electronics Division of General Motors and, finally, Delphi Electronics & Safety, before the plant was closed in 2008. They built components for the Apollo space program and for the automobile industry, and they anchored Oak Creek’s dynamic manufacturing economy.
Drexel Town Square, and Forge and Flare, represent the city of Oak Creek’s vision for itself. With incredible forward-looking leadership the city partnered with WISPARK, the real estate development subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (Wisconsin’s largest utility), to purchase the site and arrive at a plan. And, that plan started with the city’s commitment to build a new, state-of-the-art, $28,000,000 City Hall, Library and Town Square.
A “Town Center” without a town is simply a shopping center. The City of Oak Creek’s anchoring presence in Drexel Town Square will firmly establish Drexel Town Square as the pre-eminent shopping and lifestyle destination in the market, and it ensures that this really is Oak Creek’s downtown.
The overall site plan is remarkable – balancing big-box retail and traditional retail parcels to the east with a truly dynamic Town Center to the west. City Hall, the library, a town square, Main Street with retail and apartments, a hotel, 400+ garden apartments, a multi-disciplinary medical facility and a sprawling new park mean that Drexel Town Square truly has all the elements of community.
Forge and Flare are in the heart of it all. Inspired by the site’s manufacturing past, but presenting a thoroughly contemporary urban form, the buildings offer state-of-the-art retail space on the ground floor and apartments finished at the highest level in the market. The buildings weren’t designed or built for today. They were inspired by yesterday and built to last beyond tomorrow. This is a new way to live in Oak Creek.