Jud Jacobs and Jason L. Signor Receive the national HREI Award for Heartis North Shore

Caddis® is recognized for transforming a neglected brownfield site in Glendale, Wis., into an amenity-filled senior community in a park-like setting

Since the late 1990s, several unsuccessful proposals had come and gone to redevelop a former brownfield site on the west side of the Milwaukee River, just north of Milwaukee.

In addition, an undetermined number of other would-be developers passed on the property over the years, settling for easier, less challenging locations.

Not so for the creative, resolute team at Dallas-based national healthcare real estate firm Caddis®.

In fact, the Caddis team’s persistence and creativity in the development of the new Heartis® Village North Shore senior community on that brownfield site just earned the firm a national award.

The assisted living and memory care community won a 2018 HREI Insights Award, which was presented Dec. 6 during the RealShare Healthcare conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. Thanks to the way it overcame the redevelopment of a challenging site to deliver senior housing to an underserved area, the 105-unit, 96,770 square foot development was named the “Best New Post-Acute or Senior Living Facility.”

Caddis shared the city’s vision

Recognizing how the Milwaukee River could become more of a community asset, city officials have been working since the early 1990s to redevelop the former industrial site overlooking the waterway – acquiring and demolishing vacant industrial buildings, conducting environmental clean-up, and adding roads and infrastructure. As part of that, they established Estabrook Corporate Park in the northeast quadrant of Port Washington Road and Estabrook Boulevard, and successfully redeveloped most of the 110-acre commercial district.

Caddis officials were convinced that the riverfront site had excellent potential and they were determined to succeed where others had fallen short.

Caddis CEO Jason L. Signor explains, “We were looking to develop our first Heartis senior living community in Wisconsin when we were presented with the opportunity to develop a brownfield site. it was situated in an ideal location near the Milwaukee River. We were determined to make it work.”

Caddis put the property under contract and began navigating the challenging development process.

Caddis Executive Vice President Development and Partner Jud Jacobs notes, “As part of a local planned unit development (PUD) district, we needed approval not only from the city, but also the property owner’s association, as well as approval to add senior housing as a permissible use. Once we received all of the necessary permissions and the land had been returned to a pristine state, we moved fast to create a senior community in a new park-like setting.”

The Heartis® Village North Shore project was approved in spring 2017, Caddis closed on the property acquisition shortly thereafter, construction began in October 2017, and completion is slated for early 2019. Located at 100 W. River Woods Parkway in Glendale, it’s just five miles north of downtown Milwaukee.

The judges were impressed

“The HREI Insights Awards judges were very impressed with the hard work and creativity that Caddis put into developing Heartis Village North Shore,” HREI Publisher Murray Wolf says. “One judge said the community is ‘very attractive.’ Another said, ‘I loved the successful effort to turn around a brownfield site.’ The Caddis team overcame a number of challenges to develop a community in a beautiful setting near the Milwaukee River that offers a variety of first-class amenities.”

The new community is situated in an attractive area on a quiet cul-de-sac with excellent access to local healthcare services. The interior includes a host of amenities, including an elegant piano bar, wellness suite, library and media room. In addition to beautifully landscaped grounds with gardens and walking paths, the land accommodates space for an over-sized courtyard that features a patio, fire pit, dog park and putting green. To capitalize on the proximity to the Milwaukee River, Caddis built an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant walkway to the river for easy access by residents.

Heartis Village North Shore will be managed by Pathway Senior Living LLC, a Chicago-based company that operates senior living communities in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas and Minnesota. The architect for the project is Austin, Texas-based Katus, and the general contractor is Stevens Construction Corp., which is headquartered in Bloomington, Minn.

Caddis projects and executives have been named Finalists 14 times and Winners five times in the past six years of the highly competitive HREI Insights Awards. Previous Caddis Winners include Lone Star Family Health Center in 2013 for Best New Medical Office Building (50,000 to 99,999 square feet); Heartis Amarillo assisted living and memory care community in 2015 for Best Post-Acute or Senior Living Facility; Heartis Clear Lake independent living, assisted living and memory care community in 2017 for Best Post-Acute or Senior Living Facility; and Jason L. Signor in 2016 as Healthcare Real Estate Executive of the Year.