County planning upgrades at airport business park

Abele says Foxconn has interest in area

Mitchell International Airport. - Curtis Waltz ( photo.
Mitchell International Airport. - Curtis Waltz ( photo.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 pm

The MKE Regional Business Park would receive more than $2.8 million in electrical upgrades as part of Milwaukee County executive Chris Abele’s proposed capital budget.

Mitchell International Airport. – Curtis Waltz ( photo.

The county took ownership of the site, formerly the U.S. Air Force 440th Airlift Wing base, in 2010. According to county budget materials, the electrical grid in the park serves about 60 buildings and many components are more than 60 years old.

The proposal would use airport reserve funds to replace electrical gear and overhead cables, with some equipment moving underground.

Abele has discussed the possibility of Foxconn Technology Group establishing operations in the business park on previous occasions. 

He reiterated during the announcement of his budget that the county is having discussions with the company. He said the company is looking at a number of parts of the property for logistics, inventory management and possibly assembly operations, according to video of the announcement from WISN-TV Channel 12, a BizTimes media partner.

“The county and the airport has continued to be in negotiations and supportive of the deal with Foxconn. We’re in discussions with Foxconn and their interest in the 440th,” Abele said. “They’re interested in a lot more than just what you read about.”

Much of the interest surrounding Foxconn has centered on where the company would establish its main LCD panel campus. Reports have focused on land in Mount Pleasant near Highway 11 and Braun Road as the likely site.

Abele spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said nothing in the county executive’s budget is tied to Foxconn’s potential interest in the airport area. She noted the county has seen the business park as an opportunity for economic development for awhile and upgrading the electrical is part of making that a reality.

“There’s also no specific negotiations that we’re in with Foxconn,” she said, adding Abele’s comments were a reflection of the interest the company has shown in the airport’s operations and there is not a specific plan at this point.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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