Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has added a data center to its construction plans for what would be a sprawling manufacturing complex in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, a village 25 miles south of Milwaukee.
In a manner all too familiar to local watchers of the project, Foxconn filed plans for the data center – accompanied by a nine stories-tall glass sphere that would house a network operations center and an auditorium – last month but withdrew them the same day to “explore additional design options,” Wisconsin Public Radio reported.
But last week it submitted plans for both buildings again and put out a statement saying it expected to complete the data center in 2020, Milwaukee Business Journal reported.
Foxconn’s story in Wisconsin started in 2017, when in a deal brokered by its then governor Scott Walker the state agreed to give the company an eye-popping $3 billion in tax breaks in exchange for building a $10 billion LCD factory and creating 13,000 people, according to The Verge.
By 2018, the subsidy had ballooned to $4.1 billion, while Foxconn’s plans were scaled back. The plant would now be smaller and cost one-third of the $10 billion originally promised. Walker was voted out of office later that year.
But the company said it would hit the investment target – eventually. The data center and NOC would appear to be one way to inch toward that target.
The plans submitted last week describe a 34,000-square foot data center. Foxconn said it would attract business partnerships to the area and develop new technology for a variety of sectors, according to Milwaukee Business Journal.
The spherical building next to it would house a 240-seat auditorium, board rooms, and about 40 work stations.