Foxconn to open Green Bay innovation center with 200 employees

Plans to buy The WaterMark building

Foxconn Technology Group will buy The WaterMark building in downtown Green Bay to establish an innovation center aimed at the Fox Valley and plans to have 200 employees based there.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, Gov. Scott Walker and Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy announced plans for the six-story, 75,000-square-foot building at 301 N. Washington St. on Friday morning.

“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. 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,” Gou said.

Foxconn expects to close on the property and open its innovation center there later this year.

The plan makes good on a number hints Foxconn executives have made in recent weeks about plans to establish operations outside of southeastern Wisconsin. Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of U.S. strategic initiatives, said at a Greater Milwaukee Committee meeting in early June that many of the company’s planned 13,000 jobs would be outside of Racine County. He also said Thursday ahead of the company’s groundbreaking that it would announce an innovation center somewhere in the state.

Operations in Green Bay also give the company a chance to improve the popularity of a project that polling has shown the public is skeptical of. Statewide, 61 percent of respondents in the latest Marquette Law School poll said they do not expect businesses near them to benefit from Foxconn. In the Green Bay and Appleton media market 66 percent of respondents said they do not expect a local benefit.

“We’ve always believed that the benefits of Foxconn would reach into the New North,” said Jerry Murphy, executive director of the New North, the northeast Wisconsin economic development organization. “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.

As long as the positions support the company’s work in Mount Pleasant, any jobs Foxconn creates in the Green Bay area could count toward the 13,000 the company needs to create to receive $1.5 billion in tax credits for payroll.

Investments to buy and renovate the building, however, would not count towards the $1.35 billion in credits Foxconn can receive for capital expenditures.

Foxconn previously announced plans for an innovation center at the former 611 Building in Milwaukee, now known as Foxconn Place. The company bought the building from Northwestern Mutual and is designating it as its North American headquarters.

The company has also expressed an interest in investing in startups in the state. Multiple sources have told BizTimes Milwaukee the company is putting together a venture capital fund, potentially with as much as $100 million.

Foxconn Technology Group will buy The WaterMark building in downtown Green Bay to establish an innovation center aimed at the Fox Valley and plans to have 200 employees based there.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, Gov. Scott Walker and Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy announced plans for the six-story, 75,000-square-foot building at 301 N. Washington St. on Friday morning.

“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. 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,” Gou said.

Foxconn expects to close on the property and open its innovation center there later this year.

The plan makes good on a number hints Foxconn executives have made in recent weeks about plans to establish operations outside of southeastern Wisconsin. Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of U.S. strategic initiatives, said at a Greater Milwaukee Committee meeting in early June that many of the company’s planned 13,000 jobs would be outside of Racine County. He also said Thursday ahead of the company’s groundbreaking that it would announce an innovation center somewhere in the state.

Operations in Green Bay also give the company a chance to improve the popularity of a project that polling has shown the public is skeptical of. Statewide, 61 percent of respondents in the latest Marquette Law School poll said they do not expect businesses near them to benefit from Foxconn. In the Green Bay and Appleton media market 66 percent of respondents said they do not expect a local benefit.

“We’ve always believed that the benefits of Foxconn would reach into the New North,” said Jerry Murphy, executive director of the New North, the northeast Wisconsin economic development organization. “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.

As long as the positions support the company’s work in Mount Pleasant, any jobs Foxconn creates in the Green Bay area could count toward the 13,000 the company needs to create to receive $1.5 billion in tax credits for payroll.

Investments to buy and renovate the building, however, would not count towards the $1.35 billion in credits Foxconn can receive for capital expenditures.

Foxconn previously announced plans for an innovation center at the former 611 Building in Milwaukee, now known as Foxconn Place. The company bought the building from Northwestern Mutual and is designating it as its North American headquarters.

The company has also expressed an interest in investing in startups in the state. Multiple sources have told BizTimes Milwaukee the company is putting together a venture capital fund, potentially with as much as $100 million.

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