MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Foxconn Technology Group plans to open a new laboratory and offices in west-central Wisconsin.
The Taiwanese-based electronics giant announced on Monday it has entered into an agreement to buy The Grand, a building in downtown Eau Claire, and has purchased office space at Haymarket Landing, another building in downtown Eau Claire.
The company says it will use The Grand as a laboratory and the Haymarket Landing space as an innovation center, creating at least 150 jobs. Foxconn plans to close on its purchase of the properties this year and begin its operations in them next year.
Gov. Scott Walker says Foxconn’s investment will benefit the entire state.
“Once again, we’re seeing how Foxconn’s historic investment in Wisconsin is impacting every region of the state as the company makes yet another commitment to both create jobs and support our entrepreneurs and innovators,” Walker said in an official statement. “This is another example of the ‘Foxconn Bonus’ that goes well beyond the company’s $10 billion advanced manufacturing campus in Racine County.”
The Grand is a 43,000-square-foot building dating to 1929. It had housed various tenants until 2016, the best known of them being Wells Fargo.
Haymarket Landing is part of the Confluence project in downtown Eau Claire. Foxconn plans to occupy almost the entire first floor of the building.
Foxconn is now putting up a flat-screen factory in Mount Pleasant with the help of an unprecedented state incentives package. The company announced last month it would have its North American headquarters in Milwaukee and open a Green Bay office.
Not everyone was impressed by the company’s announcement on Monday. State Senate Minority Leader. Jennifer Shilling, a Democrat, noted that Foxconn has backed away from its original plans to build a so-called Generation 10 factory in Mount Pleasant and is now working on a smaller, Gen 6 plant. She also noted that the company stands to receive an unprecedented amount of subsidies from the state and local governments if it hits certain spending and hiring goals.
“While Gov. Walker celebrates yet another taxpayer-funded subsidy for Foxconn, our local schools continue to struggle, our roads are falling apart and we’re seeing an unprecedented spike in farm bankruptcies,” Shilling said in an official statement.