Milwaukee suburb going through major business boom

MKE suburb going through major business boom
Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-25 19:59:50-04

OAK CREEK -- When Oak Creek's number one employer shut down it created a big chunk of vacant land, but it did not stay vacant for long. The area is now home to a $200 million dollar project city leaders are calling the suburb's "new downtown."

Construction crews have been working non-stop raising building after building at Drexel Town Square. Troy Mox and his family bought into the business boom early by moving in this month.

"The newer apartments, the restaurants, the civic area, the park and the water feature," said Mox.

While construction is still in its early stages, this area will soon also be filled with dozens of stores, a brand new city hall, hotel, even a senior living center.

"Every time I come out here I see new things going up," said Milwaukee resident Pamela Gustafson.

It's been a long time coming for a city that saw its main business, the Delphi manufacturing plant, close eight years ago on the same grounds.

"The real objective was to really create a town center in Oak Creek, a downtown spot which we never really had," said City Development Director Doug Seymour.

Aside from the town square, a major draw will be when IKEA goes up in town in just a couple years. The location will save local residents like Gustafson an hour and a half trip south.

"I drive to IKEA twice a year, I'm also Swedish so that was the draw for me in the first place."

Altogether, Oak Creek businesses will soon create hundreds of jobs and community growth.

"Within the next few years we will be close to or exceeding 40,000 people," said Seymour.

"Obviously there will be more traffic, more congestion but with that you get the benefits," said Mox.

The city says the Drexel shopping district will be built in phases; however its openings will be filled within the next year or two.