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Foxconn buys building near state capitol for $9.5 million

An affiliate of Foxconn Technology Group has paid $9.5 million for a six-story office building near the state Capitol, real estate records show.

Company officials announced plans to purchase a building standing at 1 W. Main St. in Madison in mid-April to house an off-campus research center that will play a part in a partnership Foxconn had previously struck up with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The building is just the latest that Foxconn has bought for the purpose of opening what it’s calling innovation centers, joining properties in Milwaukee, Racine, Eau Claire and Green Bay.  Foxconn has said it will  ultimately spend $10 billion in Wisconsin and recently awarded work for the first phases of construction work on the manufacturing plant it is putting up in Mount Pleasant.

Real estate records show that a Foxconn affiliate, FE One West Main Madison, recently bought four parcels on Madison’s Capitol square.  The building there previously belonged to BMO Harris Bank, which will continue to operate out of a space on the first floor. The land has an assessed value of $6.3 million.

Under Foxconn’s deal with UW-Madison, announced last summer, the company said it would spend $100 million on engineering and research if the university matched that amount in a two-year fundraising campaign. Talks have also begun about putting up a building for the university’s college of engineering.

Doubts continue to hang over the company’s plans, though. Other properties owned by Foxconn have shown few signs of progress since being purchased. Foxconn announced last year that it would seek design firms to overhaul properties it owns in Eau Claire, Green Bay and Milwaukee but hasn’t said if it has actually chosen any companies yet for that work.

During an event announcing the purchase of its Madison building, Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of U.S. strategic initiatives, assured his audience there is a plan for the properties.

“Foxconn will be a good neighbor and I can also assure you that building will not be an empty building,” he said.

About Nate Beck

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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