Gov. Scott Walker: Foxconn to open innovation center in downtown Green Bay
Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
|Company expands its Wisconn Valley Innovation Network by purchasing six-story downtown building for new facility expected to create at least 200 high-tech jobs
|GREEN BAY – Governor Scott Walker today joined Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn) founder and CEO Terry Gou, other company officials, and local and state leaders to announce Foxconn’s purchase of a six-story office building in downtown Green Bay that will be transformed into the new Foxconn Innovation Center.
“Foxconn’s decision to expand its Wisconn Valley Innovation Network to northeastern Wisconsin is yet another example of the ‘Foxconn Bonus’ that goes above and beyond the company’s historic investment in Racine County. Whether it is the construction-related jobs that are being created right now throughout the state or key investments such as this, Foxconn is already having a positive impact on every region of our great state,” said Governor Walker. “We commend the company for making this significant investment and welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Foxconn and extend the ever-growing footprint of Wisconn Valley into the Fox Valley.”
“We are excited to expand our Wisconn Valley Innovation Center network to northeast Wisconsin, where we hope it will inspire innovative ideas and catalyze cutting-edge solutions from companies and entrepreneurs in that part of the state,” said Chairman Gou. “The innovation center at Green Bay will play a key role in our goal to create a vibrant AI 8K+5G ecosystem in the U.S., with Wisconsin at the heart of this vision.”
Foxconn announced Friday that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the WaterMark building at 301 N. Washington St., a 75,000-square-foot office building along the Fox River that once housed a H.C. Prange and Younker’s Department Store. Foxconn will close on the property soon and plans to open the innovation center by the end of the year. The company expects to create at least 200 high-tech jobs at the center.
The project is part of Foxconn’s collaborative effort to foster and attract talent and to spur innovation throughout northeastern Wisconsin. The company’s presence in the region also will help it better develop and connect with supply chain partners in northeastern Wisconsin and throughout the state.
The Green Bay center will be part of a talent and innovation network for the AI 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn is creating in Wisconsin. The centers will bring together startups and other businesses to inspire and catalyze innovative ideas and cutting-edge solutions in AI 8K+5G. The company recently purchased the former Northwestern Mutual building in downtown Milwaukee, which will serve as Foxconn’s North American headquarters and as home to the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center.
While the center will be located in Green Bay, the facility will benefit the entire region, said Jerry Murphy, executive director of The New North, the regional economic development organization encompassing 18 counties in northeast Wisconsin.
“We’ve always believed that the benefits of Foxconn would reach into the New North,” said Jerry Murphy. “We’ve seen some of that through the initial awarding of contracts. Today’s announcement takes things to another level. We couldn’t be more excited to have Foxconn in the heart of our region. Along with jobs, their presence will add thought leaders in innovation to our business community, which will benefit us in any number of ways.”
Friday’s announcement comes one day after Foxconn broke ground on its $10 billion advanced manufacturing campus in Racine County that is expected to create up to 13,000 direct and 22,000 indirect jobs, as well as another 10,000 construction jobs annually. Once the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park is fully operational, Foxconn is expected to make $4.26 billion in supplier purchases annually with roughly one-third being sourced from Wisconsin. The project is expected to have at least a $7 billion annual economic impact on the state and generate between $116 and $157 million in state tax revenue annually once fully operational.
The state is supporting Foxconn’s historic investment in Wisconsin by providing the company with up to $2.85 billion in state income tax credits over the next 15 years. All tax credits are “pay-as-you-grow,” which means Foxconn must create the jobs and make the capital investment before it earns any credits and can only receive the full amount of credits if it creates 13,000 jobs and makes $9 billion in capital investments. The contract with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation also requires the company to provide an average annual salary of $53,875 with full benefits.
Wisconsin is already feeling the ripple effect of Foxconn’s “Wisconsin First” approach. Foxconn awarded more than 20 contracts for initial site excavation work and an additional eight contracts for construction of a multipurpose building to Wisconsin-based subcontractors for work on the site of Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park.
The “Wisconsin First” approach aims for 60 percent of subcontracting to be executed by Wisconsin-based companies, 10 percent of that from Racine County-based businesses. This approach also prioritizes Veteran-owned, Women-owned, Minority-owned, and/or Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in the project—estimating to have at least 10 percent of subcontractors in this category.