Orthodontics facility to anchor Ansay development in Saukville

Sheboygan firm plans 130,000-square-foot plant in heart of Northern Gateway on village’s east side

THIS RENDERING BY Rinka shows the entrance to the 130,000-square-foot American Orthodontics facility to be built at 3265 Northwood Rd. in the Gateway Community Collective that Ansay Development is building on Saukville’s east side.
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

American Orthodontics, a Sheboygan-based maker of supplies used by orthodontists throughout the world, is poised to become the anchor tenant in the Northern Gateway Community Collective development slated for Saukville’s east side.

“It’s exciting for us,” Bret Blizzard, marketing and communications manager for American Orthodontics, said. “This looks like a very exciting development.”

Village President Barb Dickmann echoed that thought, saying American Orthodontics promises to be a benefit for the community, adding she believes it will be a magnet that will help draw other businesses and new residents to Saukville.

“I believe what will come from this will be positive,” she said. “I’ve said all along that we have to tread carefully with this (Gateway) development because it’s so large. But I like the fit. I think it’s a natural for this development, and I believe they will be a good corporate citizen.”

American Orthodontics will also be the largest business to locate in Saukville in recent history, she said.

The company was to present plans for a 130,000-square-foot building at 3265 Northwoods Rd. to the village’s Community Development Authority at a 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, meeting.

The Saukville facility will be American Orthodontics’ second facility, which Blizzard said will be used for manufacturing and light assembly.

The company intends to create more than 100 jobs in Saukville initially and grow from there, he said, adding they hope to be in the new facility by December 2023.

“We’re growing gangbusters,” Blizzard said, noting the company has grown every year since it was founded in 1968, except for the pandemic year when sales were flat, and has never laid off employees.

The company is currently housed in a 280,000-square-foot manufacturing and office building in Sheboygan that it has outgrown, Blizzard said.

“Five years ago, we were using maybe 50% to 60% of this building,” he said. “Today we’re busting at the seams.”

The firm has been working with Ansay Development, which is developing the Gateway project, as it looks for a new facility, Blizzard said.

“Obviously the Ozaukee County corridor is a good place to start looking,” he said.

The Gateway development is an ideal site for the company, Blizzard said, noting that it has easy access to I-43 and is close to the firm’s home offices.

“I think it was important to remain within a 50 mile radius (of the firm’s current facility),” he said.

The fact that the Gateway development will have a significant amount of housing that could accommodate its workforce wasn’t a driving force in American Orthodontics’ decision to pick the Saukville site, Blizzard said, although it is a benefit.

“You’re going to be able to recruit to the north. You’re going to be able to recruit to the south,” he said. “There’s easy access.”

Dickmann said American Orthodontics will provide good jobs and draw workers to the village.

“They’re a really, really excellent company,” she said. “They’re very good to their employees. And when you look at the jobs that are going to come, that’s very attractive.”

Village officials also told company representatives that they wanted to see them build a beautiful structure, Dickmann said, and the firm responded. The new building is designed by Rinka, which has worked with Ansay on a number of recent developments, including the Newport Shores building on Port Washington’s lakefront.

“We told them this building is going to be prominent from all four sides. When people drive by, they need to say, ‘Cool,’” Dickmann said. “It has to be impressive.”

Village officials toured American Orthodontics’s Sheboygan facility recently, and Dickmann said they came away impressed with the company.

“They were very open and showed us around the whole process,” she said. “We asked a lot of questions and learned a lot about them.”

Although American Orthodontics is a large, successful company, it isn’t a household name.

“We’re pretty quiet,” Blizzard said. “I’m sure 100,000 cars pass by our office a day and have no idea what we make.”

The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of orthodontic treatment supplies, making virtually everything an orthodontist uses, he said, from arch wires to brackets to the plastic for retainers — “All products to straighten teeth.”

“Our customers are all orthodontists. It’s a niche space,” Blizzard said, noting the company is in 113 countries.

In addition to American Orthodontics, the Gateway project, proposed by Ansay Development and Three Leaf Partners for 99 acres north of Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly and Camping World, will include as many as 620 housing units ranging from apartments to single-family houses — a quarter of which will be for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities ­— an office and commercial area, 30-acre business park, a 110-room hotel, day care facility, indoor sports facility, green space and walking trails.

There would also be a public plaza and other amenities to be operated by the village and Mel’s Charities, which will move its offices to the subdivision.

The development is projected to increase the tax base by $157 million.

The village’s Joint Board of Review is expected to discuss plans for a tax incremental tax district to support the development when it meets at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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