Three Leaf Partners Continues Work on Mel’s Village in Saukville

Article written by Sean Ryan of the Milwaukee Business Journal

Contending with challenges from interest rates and high construction costs, the project team behind a $180 million Saukville project are on course to start more buildings in October.

The Saukville project near Interstate 43 is led by Ansay Development Corp. and Three Leaf Partners. Mel’s Charities Inc. and Balance Inc. – two organizations that support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) – are partners that will help make it a community with supportive services and job opportunities. The project includes hundreds of apartments, a mixed-use Mel’s Village around a town square that is designed to support people with IDD, and a new office for American Orthodontics.

“It’s mission based and there is a lot of support for it, but it still has to make economic sense,” said Mike Ansay, president of Ansay Development.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Thursday to recognize the progress on the development dubbed Northern Gateway. Some work has already been done. Sewer and water pipes, and streets have already been built. The American Orthodontics office on the far north end of the site is set for completion around the end of this year.

October groundbreakings are planned for the first buildings in the Mel’s Village area, and on new apartments planned south of American Orthodontics.

The Mel’s Village area alone will have more than 120 apartments in buildings with ground-floor storefronts. About a quarter of the apartments are expected to house people with IDD.

Three Leaf is to develop more than 420 market-rate apartments to the north near American Orthodontics. The apartments will be built in phases to avoid overwhelming the demand for new housing, with those at Mel’s Village taking precedence.

“We all have ambitions to make this go as quick as we can to be more successful, but you’ve got to be patient,” Ansay said. “This is going to be a journey. Real estate is patience.”

Apartments in the Mel’s Village area are to come online in 2025.

The project couldn’t happen without $21.5 million in tax incremental financing the village of Saukville approved last year, Ansay said. Property taxes on the expected $180 million in new value are to fund that incentive.

Construction also starts in October for the Gateway Sports Academy athletic facility for youths that neighbors the central square of Mel’s Village. Talks are underway to attract a hotel developer to Mel’s Village, and bring an events venue there, Ansay said.

Mel’s Charities frequently partners with other businesses, and is in talks to bring some to the Mel’s Village area where they can provide jobs to people with IDD. The project team this week declined to identify the prospective businesses in talks to fill storefronts at Mel’s Village.

“They’re being strategic by locating there and supporting the mission of Mel’s,” Ansay said.

Tom Meaux, president of Ansay Holdings and a board member of Mel’s Charities, said more than 400 families have been identified in Ozaukee County who have adults with IDD living at home. Balance Inc. will provide on-site management and support at Mel’s Village for the residents with IDD, he said.

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