Village’s Northern Gateway anchor taking shape

With exterior of American Orthodontics plant finished, company will begin moving machinery into facility in sprawling development

DESIGNED BY THE Milwaukee architectural firm Rinka, the American Orthodontics facility has an impressive presence in the Northern Gateway Community Collective development on Saukville’s east side. With exterior work essentially finished, the Sheboygan-based company will begin moving machinery into the facility. Photo by Sam Arendt
By KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM Ozaukee Press staff
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM Ozaukee Press staff

The American Orthodontics building, the anchor of the Northern Gateway Community Collective development on Saukville’s east side, looks impressive not only from the nearby streets but also from I-43.

While the building appears to be completed, it’s not ready to open yet, Bret Blizzard, marketing and communications manager for American Orthodontics, said last week.

“We still need to move machinery into the building,” he said. “At this point, it’s empty.”

The Sheboygan-based manufacturer has essentially completed work on the exterior of the 129,000-square-foot building at 3265 Northwoods Rd., Blizzard said, and crews are now working to complete the interior.

He said he toured the building recently and, “I was pretty impressed. It’s looking nice.”

Company officials originally hoped to move into the plant by December, but that has been moved back to late spring, Blizzard said.

That isn’t due to any atypical delays or material shortages, he added. “Anytime you take on a construction project, it’s going to take longer than originally expected,” he said. In preparation for the opening, Blizzard said, the company recently began advertising for employees.

American Orthodontics hopes to hire as many as 100 people initially, all for the first shift, but Blizzard said that the firm won’t wait to open the new facility if it has fewer workers.

“We’ll ramp up as we go,” he said. He said he could not comment on how hiring is going, adding, “We just started. I don’t really have a sense for if we’re getting applications.”

American Orthodontic’s new building will house manufacturing and light assembly facilities for the company, mirroring the work done at the firm’s Sheboygan facility, Blizzard said.

“Everything we make here will be made in Saukville,” he said. “It is truly an expansion facility.”

The company was founded in 1968 and has grown every year since, except during the pandemic, when sales were flat. It opened in a building on Sheboygan’s north side, moving to its current 280,000-square-foot building on the city’s south side in 2013. “We’re completely full,” Blizzard said. “We’ve outgrown the building.”

When the Saukville location was announced, company officials touted it as an ideal location due to its proximity to the firm’s home offices and the easy access to I-43.

“One of the exciting things is there’s room here to expand,” Blizzard added. “The problem we have in Sheboygan is we’re landlocked. “It (Saukville) makes sense for us in the long term.”

American Orthodontics is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of orthodontic treatment supplies, making virtually everything an orthodontist uses, from arch wires to brackets to the plastic for retainers.

When plans for the Saukville facility were unveiled, an architect from the Milwaukee firm Rinka told officials it is intended to create a campus that redefines the ideal work environment for manufacturing employees.

Natural light will flow into the structure from large windows, creating connections to the outdoors, and there will be outdoor trails to allow workers to take walks during breaks.

American Orthodontics is the anchor for the Northern Gateway project spearheaded by Ansay Development and Three Leaf Partners.

In addition to American Orthodontics, the 99-acre Gateway subdivision is expected to be home to Gateway Sports Academy, which will be a second location of Chapman Basketball Academy in Mequon, a 30-acre business park, 110-room hotel, day care facility, green space and walking trails.

The development is also expected to have as many as 620 housing units, a quarter of which will be for adults with developmental disabilities, a public plaza and other amenities to be operated by the Village of Saukville and Mel’s Charities, which will move its offices there.



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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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