Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 pm
A subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group will soon have control of nearly 800 acres of land in Mount Pleasant, clearing the way for initial site work on a $10 billion LCD manufacturing campus to begin.
“The transfer of land reflects Foxconn’s desire to begin construction as soon as possible,” said Dave DeGroot, Mount Pleasant president. “We’ve seen great progress on initial construction plans and look forward to a groundbreaking in the coming weeks.”
The village is transferring 17 parcels in the area located north of Highway KR, east of Interstate 94, south of Braun Road and west of Highway H to FEWI Development Corp. The village bought the land over the last several months.
The company deposited $60 million in an account in December to help fund the property acquisitions and will also pay a $75 million special assessment on the land being transferred to help cover the costs. In announcing the transfer, the village said the deal “confirms” the special assessment.
The first phase of Foxconn’s manufacturing operations is to be built in the area where the property is being transferred. Mount Pleasant officials on Monday approved five more purchase agreements and said they have now acquired roughly 95 percent of the 1,200 acres in project Area I.
“To date, we have focused much of our efforts on the ‘core area’ of Area I of the project site and have succeeded in reaching voluntary agreements with nearly all property owners,” DeGroot said. “This is where the first phase of the project will soon be underway, and we’ve made great progress toward securing all the land.”
There are another 20 properties in Area I that have not been acquired. The village says “nearly all” of the remaining properties are going to be affected by roadway projects and will be acquired for road right of way.
Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation is handling $134 million in improvements to local roads in the area around Foxconn. Those projects include the widening of a number of roads to support increased traffic from the plant.
Not all property owners have been willing to sell to the village to make way for the project. A group that owns seven properties across the entire project area, totaling about 18 acres, sued Mount Pleasant in federal court, arguing their constitutional rights are being violated.
The group has taken issue with the village’s decision to pay the owners of larger, mostly vacant parcels $50,000 per acre while those with homes on smaller lots are receiving 140 percent of fair market value. The result, they say, is they will receive a fraction of the payment their neighbors are getting.
The entire project area includes nearly 3,000 acres and Mount Pleasant officials say they have acquired about 2,300 acres in total.