Drexel Town Square footprint could expand

Barrett has 7.2 acres under contract for third phase of Emerald Row apartments [PHOTO GALLERY]

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The first phase of the Emerald Row luxury apartments at the Drexel Town Square development in Oak Creek has been so successful developer Rick Barrett is already planning a third phase and has 7.2 acres under contract, which would expand the footprint of the mixed-use, multi-developer Drexel Town Square project.

The third phase of Emerald Row would bring the total number of units to 657 and would expand the Drexel Town Square footprint to the south. Phase one has 167 units, phase two will have 240 units and phase three will have 250 units.

Barrett, the owner of Barrett Lo Visionary Development, is planning to close on the 7.2-acre site, which is owned by Giuffre XX LLC, at the end of September.

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“I was quoted early saying I would do 500 to 600 units (at Drexel Town Square),” Barrett said. “This is a signature project down here, satiating a thirst that we hoped was here, but we are a little bit overwhelmed as to the demand.”

The parcel owned by Giuffre is located on the west side of South 6th Street, just south of the Emerald Nature Preserve. Although the land is technically not in the Drexel Town Square boundaries, it is included in the TIF district, said Doug Seymour, Oak Creek director of community development.

Phase three of the Emerald Row apartments would still have to go through the city approval process, Seymour said.

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Phase one of Emerald Row opened Aug. 1. As of Tuesday, 92 of the 167 apartments were leased with all of the three-bedroom units gone and only two of the two-bedroom units left.

Phase two, which will begin construction in spring 2017, will include more two- and three-bedroom units, Barrett said.

Monthly rents range from $1,100 for a one-bedroom to $2,400 for a three-bedroom.

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Drexel Town Square is an  85-acre, mixed-use project by a team of developers, led by Wispark LLC, at the former Delphi plant site southwest of Drexel and Howell avenues.

Barrett, who is typically a downtown Milwaukee developer with projects such as the Moderne and the upcoming Couture, said people were surprised when he decided to develop in Oak Creek.

He credits the success of Emerald Row to the group involved with Drexel Town Square, including WiRED Properties, which is developing the Main Street portion of the development and the elected officials.

“Blair (Williams, president of WiRED) is outstanding and the progressive nature of the city of Oak Creek and the Common Council is the perfect storm,” Barrett said. “It has come to exactly what we though. Maybe a little more than we hoped.”

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