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Foxconn issues call for overhaul of downtown Milwaukee office building

Foxconn officials issued a request for proposals on Wednesday seeking contractors to help it turn a building at 611 E. Wisconsin Ave. into its North American headquarters. The building, which previously belonged Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, will house both employees who will manage the company’s supply chain and the construction of its $10 billion factory in Mount Pleasant and an innovation center that will work with new businesses. (Staff photo by Dan Shaw)

Foxconn officials issued a request for proposals on Wednesday seeking contractors to help it turn a building at 611 E. Wisconsin Ave. into its North American headquarters. The building, which previously belonged Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, will house both employees who will manage the company’s supply chain and the construction of its $10 billion factory in Mount Pleasant and an innovation center that will work with new businesses. (Staff photo by Dan Shaw)

Foxconn Technology Group issued a request for proposals on Wednesday seeking architects and engineers to overhaul the company’s North American headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

Foxconn bought the seven-story, 145,000-square-foot building at 611 E. Wisconsin Ave. from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance in June, planning to turn the building into a headquarters where 500 people will be employed. A subsidiary of Foxconn, FFEWI Development Corp., paid $14.5 million for the building, a parking lot and parking garage standing on the same block. The office tower was built in 1964 and has an assessed value of $11.5 million.

Company officials are hoping in September to choose a company to oversee the building overhaul and begin work on the project later that month. The company said the winning firm may be considered for other Foxconn projects around the state. Alan Yeung, Director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives for Foxconn, said in a statement Wednesday that Foxconn will give a preference to Wisconsin companies that respond to the request for proposals.

The building will house both Foxconn employees who will manage the company’s supply chain and the construction of its $10 billion factory in Mount Pleasant and an innovation center that will work with new businesses.

“We are looking for a firm that will support our vision for this key facility and provide design possibilities for the building that both showcase Foxconn’s continuing innovation in leading-edge technologies that AI 8K+5G will enable and the continued development of the transformational Wisconn Valley project,” Yeung said. “With its own innovation center, our Milwaukee headquarters will help us connect entrepreneurs and startups with the advanced technology being developed and produced at the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park campus in Mount Pleasant. The headquarters will also serve a vital role in linking our Mount Pleasant campus with our other statewide innovation centers and potential supply chain partners across Wisconsin.”

Foxconn’s request for proposals seeks companies that are willing to help it bring “sustainable” design, “smart building” alternatives and energy-savings components to its North American headquarters. The request also calls for the addition of work space, room for tenants and improvements to building finishes and other features.

Recent weeks have also seen Foxconn announce plans to open offices in Eau Claire and Green Bay. Meanwhile, a subsidiary of the company paid $1 million in December for 65 acres in Kenosha County, near the company’s manufacturing site, and $1.9 million in February for 40 acres of land in Sturtevant.

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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