ARTISAN SHOPPING VILLAGE ONE OF CITY’S BEST-KEPT SECRETS
Today’s buzz words in the real estate market are “mixed-used developments,” and we need not look any farther than the new apartments under construction at Drexel Town Square to find a perfect example. Ground-level businesses are topped off by comfortable living spaces, creating a convenient lifestyle for tenants, while at the same time creating a vibrant destination for shoppers.
For Oak Creek, however, the “mixed-use development” concept is not new. In the late 1970s the City had already demonstrated its forward thinking with the construction of the Market Place Village at Puetz Road and Highway 32. This interesting shopping development on the City’s east side became both the home and business address of a variety of local artisans and entrepreneurs. And the Village’s cozy “Door County” feel, warm setting and charming appeal continue to make it a unique shopping destination even to this day.
It all started back in 1976 when construction of Market Place Village began. By 1978 business owners were moving into their own distinctive buildings with retail on the ground level and living quarters above. The buildings were constructed in threes, and were sold as condominium properties. Even today, some of the original businesses still call it home.
According to Dr. Ronald Lange, D.D.S., who owns Market Place Dental and was one of the original owners at Market Place Village, “We have been fortunate to run our business here for the past 38 years. Starting out with owning one building, we bought more property as the business grew, and today we own a set of three buildings that now share the same interior.”
Rick Cartwright of Potters Field Stoneware, and another original owner, explains that Market Place Village was way ahead of its time. “This property is such a little gem in the community,” says Cartwright. “My wife Lisa and I have lived here more than 30 years, raising our two children and enjoying an artist’s lifestyle of living where you work. We love the unique concept that Market Place offers!” he adds.
While Dr. Lange no longer lives above his business, he has appreciated the warmth and sense of community that Market Place has offered over the years. “We feel safe, we know our neighbors and we have enjoyed the patient relationships that we have developed over the years, now seeing the children and even grandchildren of our original patients,” Lange explains.
Other business owners agree that the Market Place Village offers a rich, “homey” feel for business owners and customers alike. Jan Massie, who owns the Just 4 Ewe fiber studio and lives upstairs of her eclectic shop, confesses that she has enjoyed every minute of her 10+ year tenure as a Market Place Village owner. “We have such an amazing mix of businesses and services here, it makes for a great place to wake up every morning, and a wonderful shopping experience for our patrons,” Massie admits.
So what kind of businesses will you find today at the Market Place Village? With almost 20 businesses to choose from, you can take your pick from service businesses such as a travel agent, realtor, insurance broker, photographer and driving instruction. There is also a hair salon, dentist, massage therapist and a professional seamstress who specializes in wedding gown alterations. And with the holidays fast approaching, shoppers can choose from an assortment of handmade gifts from a pottery studio, jeweler, antique shop, encouragement gift shop and a floral shop that specializes in popular, lifelike floral arrangements.
Since the owners at Market Place Village still maintain a condominium status, a condo association is in place to represent their interests and help market the complex. According to Jason Packer, president of the Market Place Association, “My wife Melissa and I appreciate this unique setting and being able to live where we work,” he says. Their business, Crown Creative, offers handmade jewelry, gifts and one-of-a-kinds, as well as art supplies – plus offering their studio space for various art-themed classes.
“We are eager to let the entire Oak Creek community know what a fabulous place this is to shop!” he says. “And to reinforce the “shop local” concept that is so important to us as business owners.”
Linda Dlugi, who owns Decorative Touch Florals and Gifts, says her customers are like family after being in business for 12 years at Market Place Village. “I have many long-standing customers who appreciate this quaint little shopping district. It is so enjoyable to do business here,” she says.
You can even stop at the Market Place Cafe, at the south end of the complex, to fuel your shopping experience. Even though the Cafe is not an official part of the condominium association, serious shopping always requires a place to relax with your favorite beverage, snack or meal. The Cafe also offers catering and a rental space for larger parties.
To keep that “shop local” concept alive this holiday season, be sure to include Market Place Village on your list of preferred Oak Creek destinations, and meet the friendly shop owners who welcome your visit. Because each distinctive shop is individually owned, it is best to call in advance for individual business hours.
Market Place Village
Puetz Road and Highway 32, Oak Creek