Not long ago, the executive director of the Whitewater Community Development Authority used meeting time to gush over the supply-chain possibilities Foxconn might present for Whitewater. The very idea is laughable; that his remarks were not met with peals of laughter shows how ignorant or confused the members of that public body truly are. See Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment.
Long before CDA executive director Dave Carlson’s remarks, the Foxconn Wisconsin project was a discredited and debunked fiasco.
There’s yet more confirmation of this plain truth in Josh Dzieza’s article, Foxconn is Confusing the Hell Out of Wisconsin:
For Foxconn watchers, the Milwaukee headquarters feels like a distillation of the whole ordeal. Foxconn did buy a building — it put signs up, and there are some people there with Foxconn lanyards — but it’s a significantly diminished version of what was promised and strangely secret for a project that began with such public fanfare.
It’s become something of a running joke. When I told people I’d been to the headquarters, they would often grin and ask what happened, before recounting their own experiences of getting turned away at the lobby. [Wisconsin state rep] Brostoff calls it a “ghost town, an empty storefront.” Matt Flynn, who ran in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and is trying to raise money for a suit claiming elements of the Foxconn contract are unconstitutional, calls it a “Potemkin office” and likens it to a flimsy stage set on a television Western. A local observer gave me a tip from his own attempts to discern what exactly is going on inside the headquarters: if you go to the top floor of a parking garage across the street at dusk, you can see into the Foxconn floors. I did so and saw that it looks like a normal office, and there were at least six people inside.
If there’s a showcase of innovations in the Milwaukee headquarters, as [Foxconn executive Louis] Woo had promised, Foxconn has made it extremely difficult to find.
Public records indicate that not much has been done with the space. Permits have been taken out for about $60,000 worth of renovations since Foxconn moved in, mostly to Baird’s floors, the ventilation system, and the elevator. When I called the architect at the head of the firm that sources said had won the redesign project and told him I was working on a story about Foxconn, he promptly hung up. Subsequent attempts to reach him were not returned.
Foxconn’s own plans for the space are amazingly vague. In September, it released a “sneak peek” video showing a sleek campus full of glass orbs and gardens patrolled by self-driving cars, but no officials I spoke to had seen an explanation of what any of the buildings were, and Foxconn declined to provide one to The Verge. When [Wisconsin state rep] Hintz pointed out that one of the fountain-fronted structures was actually just a photo of a city park in Bradford, England, Foxconn took the video down. A version remains on Mount Pleasant’s website, now bearing the disclaimer that the plans are “subject to change under future design circumstances.”
Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers, Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) Workforce, Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace Conditions, Foxconn’s Bait & Switch, Foxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying Jobs, The Next Guest Speaker, Trump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away, “Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & Fraud, Foxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition, Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re Stupid, Lost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere, Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment, Foxconn: Behind Those Headlines, and Foxconn: On Shaky Ground, Literally.