GRAEF Project, Drexel Town Square Highlighted in League of Wisconsin Municipality Magazine

mm (1)

Drexel Town Square: The Postcard View

The City of Oak Creek, a fast growing suburb of Milwaukee, lacked a key amenity for the community: a downtown.

When the relatively young city went through a period of searching for its civic identity, or “perfect postcard view,” as Doug Seymour, community development director would describe, the growing community longed for a space, like a downtown, that they could be proud of.

GRAEF, a full-service engineering, planning, and design firm was proud to partner with the City of Oak Creek and WisPark LLC to create Oak Creek’s postcard view: the incredibly successful Drexel Town Square – a $200 million vibrant downtown where residents can live, work, play, shop, dine, receive medical treatment, and even retire.

Set at the foot of Oak Creek’s iconic City Hall clock tower, Drexel Town Square is the heart of Oak Creek. The site today is a showcase space designed and programmed to accommodate large community events and includes a large elliptical plaza, performance stage area, expansive lawn,
a seasonal splash pad feature, ample decorative lighting, and
accent plantings.

With this diverse space, the city can hold exciting events for
the community to enjoy. Music, art, food trucks, and a farmers’
market all occupy the space at one time or another.

Surrounded by custom-designed wood bench seats with LED lighting and brick masonry seat wall planters, the central plaza is both delineated and softened, offering comfortable spaces for the community to enjoy events.

“Having a place where we can come together as a
community has been instrumental for us,” said Leslie Flynn, Communications Coordinator for the City of Oak Creek. “This project provided us with a chance to create our own identity. It gave us an opportunity to not only support who we were as a
community already, but also what we want to be,” she added.

The space contains a curated mix of retail and service
businesses, luxury residential apartments, senior living, a hotel,
food and specialty shops, offices, a medical facility, and the
North American Headquarters of an international technology
company. The area is also now home to the Oak Creek Civic
Center which includes Oak Creek City Hall and Oak Creek
Public Library.

“I am proud of how many people love to live there,” said Jerry Franke, retired President of WisPark. “If you look back to our original vision statement, and what the community hoped for, I think we exceeded that,” he added.