Foxconn will make downtown Milwaukee building its Wisconsin HQ

Company hoping to partner with start-ups, venture capitalists there


The 611 Building in downtown Milwaukee will become Foxconn Technology Group’s Wisconsin headquarters, which could house up to 650 people.

Louis Woo at Tuesday’s press conference.

Foxconn will purchase the seven-story, 132,000-square-foot building, located at 617 E. Wisconsin Ave., and parking lot from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. later this year for an undisclosed price.

The building will serve as the office space component of the company’s plans to build an LCD panel manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant.

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The 611 Building will be known as Foxconn Place. The building will also be home to the newly-established Wisconn Valley Innovation Center, a hub for the 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn is creating in Wisconsin and in the United States.

Employees outside of Foxconn could work at the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center, including venture capitalists and start-up firms, said Alan Yeung, director of U.S. Strategic Initiatives at Foxconn.

Yeung did not want to comment on future partners for the office building. He also would not say if a North American CEO would be located in Milwaukee.

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“I think today we are going to focus on this great building and on Northwestern Mutual,” Yeung said.

Last year Northwestern Mutual opened a new 32-story office tower on its downtown Milwaukee headquarters campus and no longer needs the 611 Building. The company decided to sell the building, and that eventually led to the Foxconn deal.

“This marks a tradition, another renaissance in downtown Milwaukee,” said Northwestern Mutual president and CEO John Schlifske. He also said Northwestern Mutual and Foxconn will work on more projects together.

Foxconn officials said they chose downtown Milwaukee for the company’s Wisconsin headquarters based on several factors including the Milwaukee Art Museum, easy access to Madison, Green Bay, Chicago and General Mitchell International Airport and access to top talent including graduates from area universities.

Foxconn plans to purchase the 611 Building on Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

“This is a major milestone in Foxconn’s plans to build a world-class advanced manufacturing campus that will create significant high-value job opportunities and an extensive supply chain supporting our project in Wisconsin, and contribute to the state’s transformation into a global hub for high-tech companies,” said Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou. “The Wisconn Valley Innovation Center will bring together start-ups and businesses to inspire and catalyze innovative ideas and cutting-edge solutions in 8K+5G.”

Gov. Scott Walker called the company’s investment in the downtown Milwaukee office building a “Foxconn bonus.” He said the company’s purchase of the building will be independent of any state investment incentives for its Mount Pleasant manufacturing operations. Foxconn will receive $3 billion in state incentives and another $764 million in incentives from Racine County and Mount Pleasant for those operations.

The Mount Pleasant project is also supported by the expansion of I-94 and expansion of local roads.

The 611 building was constructed in 1964. It is assessed by the city of Milwaukee at about $11.5 million.

“Beyond the $10 billion investment that will require up to 10,000 workers to build, creating this new headquarters in downtown Milwaukee is part of the Foxconn Bonus building across the state,” Walker said. “This is more great news for Wisconsin.”

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