Nonprofit group launches $18 million campaign for Journey21 development in Oconomowoc

Aerial rendering of the Journey21 development in Pabst Farms.

The nonprofit group behind a planned independent residential community for adults with intellectual or development disabilities in Oconomowoc has gone public with its $18 million campaign for the development.

Waukesha-based Journey21 Inc. said it has raised to date $6 million, roughly a third of its total campaign goal, to build the community on 12 acres at the southeastern corner of Old Schoolhouse Road and Hackney Way in the Pabst Farms development.

The group plans to break ground for the residential community and enrichment center in spring 2022.

The project is aimed at meeting a growing need for safe, supportive and independent living options for adults with IDD, say Sheila Frisinger and Susan Marriott, who co-founded the organization last year.

“It all began about six years ago when we were sitting in the bleachers at Muskego High School watching our sons compete in a Special Olympics track meet,” said Frisinger, who is also president of Journey21. “We talked about our dreams of independence and bright futures for our sons and wondered what would happen when we were no longer here. We learned that many other families had the same concerns about their adult children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).”

Frisigner and Marriott said the development is their own “field of dreams.”

“The truth is that at age 21, the services and support provided to adult children with IDD by the public school system simply stop. With the end of those resources, families are forced to search for new avenues of independence for their children,” Marriott said.

The project will include a two-story, 27,000-square-foot condominium building with 12 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units, underground parking and amenity spaces; and one- and two-bedroom cottages. The 10,000-square-foot enrichment center building will be designed to host programs, classes, events and social gatherings for residents and non-residents.

The development is planned just west of another residential development that is currently under construction. Mandel Group is building a 302-unit multi-family development on a roughly 34-acre site north of the Valley Road and Gold Medal Drive intersection (located west of Summit Elementary School). That development is set to open next spring.

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Lauren Anderson is an associate editor and covers health care, nonprofits and education for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism.

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