Daily Bread for 8.16.23: Foxconn Bails on “Innovation Centers”… Of Course.

Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 80. Sunrise is 6:03 AM and sunset 7:54 PM for 13h 51m 52s of daytime. The moon is new with none of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1930, the first color sound cartoon, Fiddlesticks, is released by Ub Iwerks.

Be not surprised: Joe Schulz reports Foxconn to sell Green Bay, Eau Claire properties that once intended to bring hundreds of jobs. Schulz writes that 

Foxconn Technology Group is looking to sell two properties that were once meant to become “innovation centers,” employing hundreds of people.

After Foxconn announced plans to build a manufacturing facility in the village of Mount Pleasant, the company pledged to expand across the state with innovation centers in Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Eau Claire and Racine. 

At the time, the company said each innovation center would employ between 100 and 200 people, with the Milwaukee center employing around 500 people. But those plans were essentially put on hold in 2019.

Now, Foxconn says it’s turning its focus to the “ongoing business activities” in its Science and Technology Park in Mount Pleasant, rather than innovation centers.

The company’s properties in Green Bay and Eau Claire have been listed for sale, almost five years after the company paid nearly $12 million to purchase both. In a statement, Foxconn said selling its Green Bay property, known as the Watermark building, will add to the vibrancy of the city’s downtown. It did not comment on the Eau Claire listing, nor did the company provide information on its plans for its other properties outside of Mount Pleasant.

“Innovation Center” was once much in favor as a marketing term directed toward hopeful, sometimes desperate, communities looking for growth while seldom looking past the sales pitch. (In Whitewater, our local version began with a relocated public anchor tenant from Milton, WI, has seen myriad third-tier tenants come and go, and now operates as though merely another university office building. That’s not innovation; it’s a publicly financed confidence scheme.)  

Want real innovation (the novel use of color in a full-length cartoon) to improve your day? Here’s Fiddlesticks:

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