Foxconn Technology Group plans to take one floor of the Watermark building as well as vacant first-floor retail space for its Green Bay innovation center.
The Taiwanese manufacturer plans to occupy 16,700 square feet of space in the building it plans to rename Foxconn Place Green Bay, according to plans presented to contractors during a project meeting on Thursday in Green Bay.
Foxconn’s Adam Jen said the Green Bay innovation center, which is expected to employ 200 people, will serve as an example that the company’s other innovation network centers across Wisconsin will follow.
“What happens here will have an impact on the entire effort,” Jen said.
The company’s innovation centers will help it develop applications in education, health care, sports and security industries for the AI 8K+5G display technology. They will function as talent and development networks that will integrate with the company’s $10 billion manufacturing plant in Mount Pleasant.
Foxconn intends to close on the purchase of the building and have the renovation completed by the end of the year.
Its plans leave two floors, the fourth and sixth, vacant. CH Robinson occupies the fifth floor and engineering firm ISG is currently renovating the third floor with plans to move 50 employees in once the work is complete.
Downtown Green Bay Inc. Executive Director Jeff Mirkes called the company’s timeline aggressive with the caveat he’s not an expert on construction timelines but exciting.
“I’m delighted they are moving so swiftly. When we learned just a few months ago they were acquiring a building downtown and would close (the sale) by the end of the year, it was a very nice surprise,” Mirkes said. “It will speed up their plans to bring in employees, and those employees will need services like housing and restaurants. What they’re bringing is more of what we’re trying to accomplish: More activity in the downtown area.”
Green Bay Economic Development Director Kevin Vonck said Foxconn has not requested any financial assistance from the city.
“It is an aggressive schedule, but this is a pretty aggressive project overall across the state. They’re committing resources to make things happen. It’s up to them to get it done,” Vonck said. “The city will be cooperative in helping make sure things get done in terms of permitting. If they think they can do it, then great.”
Mirkes said the addition of a global technology firm to downtown will dovetail with innovation centers like T2 Accelerator, Rise & Grind, TitletownTech and the STEM Education Center being built at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
“Learning more recently about TitletownTech and the STEM innovation center, Foxconn ties in so nicely,” Mirkes said. “We are just happy downtown is the home to their northeast Wisconsin technology center.”— Green Bay Press Gazette