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Overhaul coming to Foxconn HQ in downtown Milwaukee

Foxconn Technology Group announced Friday that it has bought a building in downtown Milwaukee to serve as its North American headquarters.

The 7-story building stands at 611 E. Wisconsin Ave. About 500 Foxconn employees will work there, officials said at a press conference Friday. The building will give the company a home base as it oversees the construction of its $10 billion manufacturing campus in Racine County.

Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Chairman and CEO Terry Gou, said the company plans to issue a request for proposals in coming weeks to architectural and engineering firms that might want to work on overhauling the headquarters building.

“This is a great place. There is plenty of opportunity for us to redevelop,” Woo said.

Asked if Foxconn has plans to add on to the 133,000 square-foot building, Woo said the company could go upward. “I don’t think there is anything stopping us. The sky is really the limit.”

Foxconn officials declined to say how much the company paid for the building Friday. The 2-acre block is assessed at $11.2 million.

Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives, said when space starts to get tight, “we’ll buy or build another one.”

Foxconn’s purchases in downtown Milwaukee also include a parking lot at the same site.

People working in Foxconn’s downtown headquarters will be responsible for the company’s construction and distribution operations, overseeing both the campus in Mount Pleasant and the company’s supply chain.

The headquarters will have an innovation center where startup companies will be able to develop products related to Foxconn’s production of high-resolution LCD screens. The building will also have displays showing how Foxconn products are used in the health-care, manufacturing and transportation industries, among others.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and others praised Foxconn’s plans.

“When you have a corporate headquarters you are much more likely to have a (company) that is invested in the city,” Barrett said.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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