Foxconn: Heckuva Supply Chain They Have There…

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.”

Previously10 Key Articles About FoxconnFoxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family HomesFoxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair BudgetThe Man Behind the Foxconn ProjectA Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the TroughEven Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) WorkforceFoxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace ConditionsFoxconn’s Bait & SwitchFoxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying JobsThe Next Guest SpeakerTrump, 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 & FraudFoxconn 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 StupidLost 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.

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5 years ago

And today…BMO revealed that they had sold their bank building on the capital square to Foxconn for another Potemkin innovation center. Seems like a kind of spendy real-estate for an engineering office.

The location (1W Main) is the closest possible piece of private real estate to the state capitol, which will save their lobbyists a lot of time. How long will it be before they invest some more of their gift-money from the state in a covered aerial walkway that goes directly to the assembly and senate leader’s offices?

Is BMO keeping a bank office on the ground floor of the innovation center another way to make Foxconn’s lobbyist’s job easier, too??