Jeramey Jannene
Plats and Parcels

Plans Released for Foxconn’s LCD Factory

Millwork company bringing 200 jobs to city, Bayside tower gets shorter, Sonag owner pleads guilty.

By - Jun 9th, 2019 08:30 pm
After the official groundbreaking ceremony at the Foxconn site in Mount Pleasant on June 28, 2018, work commenced on developing the campus, with the first vertical constructing beginning by September. Photo from Racine County/Village of Mount Pleasant/Racine County Economic Development Corp.

After the official groundbreaking ceremony at the Foxconn site in Mount Pleasant on June 28, 2018, work commenced on developing the campus, with the first vertical constructing beginning by September. Photo from Racine County/Village of Mount Pleasant/Racine County Economic Development Corp.

It’s not 20 million square feet and it won’t cost $10 billion, but electronics manufacturer Foxconn has released specific plans for a new manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant it says will be a liquid crystal display (LCD) fabrication plant.

The factory would have an approximately 850,000-square-foot footprint according to recently released plans from the state’s Department of Safety and Professional Standards. The smaller-than-promised building comes as Foxconn has switched from a Generation 10.5 LCD manufacturing campus to what it says will be a smaller Generation 6 campus. A series of support structures will also need to be constructed.

Foxconn has continued to insist it will create 13,000 jobs in the state as part of $4 billion state and local incentives package.

The company has awarded $13 million in contracts to build the facility’s foundation, but a Harvard professor and LCD industry expert expressed skepticism in April that the foundation proposed would be able to be used for LCD manufacturing and instead might signal the building is only for final assembly of products.

The building is the second building planned for the Wisconn Valley site in southern Racine County. A 120,000-square-foot, multi-purpose facility was completed last year.

If you want to keep tracking of what’s happening in Racine County from above, photographer Curtis Walz routinely releases updated images of the campus on a dedicated Twitter account.

City Support for Western Building Products Move

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee and the Common Council will soon consider a $2.45 million, developer-financed tax-incremental financing district to support the relocation of Western Building Products to Milwaukee from Wauwatosa.

The millwork distributor intends to construct a 325,000-square-foot building at 7007 N. 115th St., a currently undeveloped site known as Joy Farms. The funds would go towards the construction of sewer and water main connections at the site located just south of W. Good Hope Rd.

The 200-person company has outgrown its existing facility just outside of the Wauwatosa Village according to a report in the BizTimes.

Bayside Tower Cut In Half

Cobalt Partners has submitted a new plan for its proposed residential tower in suburban Bayside. The 30-story building and associated development failed to receive zoning approval and has now been reconfigured to a tower with a maximum height of 15 stories, a new North Shore library, office space and retail space.

“I think we’ve come up with a better proposal,” said Cobalt Partners CEO Scott Yauck to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

From Sonag to the Slammer

Sonag Company owner Brian Ganos is looking at doing some hard time for defrauding the government regarding contracts for disadvantaged businesses.

Ganos, who is Hispanic, ran concrete supplier Sonag and a host of subsidiaries behind the scenes while using minority and military veteran owners to fraudulently secure over $250 million in federal contracts. A five-year investigation resulted in Ganos pleading guilty to two of 24 felony charges regarding wire and mail fraud last week. He was first charged in April 2018.

Each count carries a possible maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine. Federal prosecutors, who have already seized a number of assets including millions in cash, a Colorado condominium, collector cars and commercial property at 5500 W. Florist Ave., will recommend six-and-a-half years of jail time and a $5,000 fine. More detail is available in a piece by reporter Bruce Vielmetti.

Song has been involved in providing concrete for many major projects in Milwaukee including Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons and Fiserv Forum. Both projects were required to have a portion of their respective project construction hours and contracting completed by city-certified Small Business Enterprises and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises for which Sonag was listed as complying in city reports.

A 2016 report by reporter John Diedrich provides a good summary of how the scheme work.

St. Rita Square Rises

A new senior living community is rising on the Lower East Side. The new facility will even include a recreation of a long lost Milwaukee church, Our Lady of Pompeii. See the renderings below or learn more in our latest Friday Photos column.

Historic Preservation Takes Center Stage

The city’s Historic Preservation Commission honored the best in historic preservation last week. The ceremony, held at Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, was sponsored by the commission, Common Council and Mayor Tom Barrett. See the list of winners and read our project profiles in our coverage of the Cream of the Cream City Awards.

Northridge Mall = Menomonee Valley 2?

The fight over the future of Northridge Mall is beginning to mirror the fight over the Menomonee Valley and former Milwaukee Road shops in the late 1990s. Read more.

The Couture Won’t Block Important Streetcar Deadline

Despite the fact that it’s still an empty lot, Department of Public Works Commissioner Jeff Polenske seems sure that a streetcar extension through The Couture will be operating by December 31st, 2020. “We still feel confident in having that loop completed in the time we need it,” said Polenske earlier this week. What happens if things don’t go as planned? Read on.

Meet 310W

New York-based Time Equities Inc. acquired the 14-story, 578,000-square-foot building at 310 W. Wisconsin Ave. in December 2017 for $19.5 million, well below its assessed value, and set about formalizing a plan to reinvigorate the aging property. The purchase is part of a $30 million investment that includes new lighting, rehabbing 15 elevators and 52 bathrooms, rebuilding the 14-story atrium and creating a host of modern tenant amenities including a coworking space, fitness center and shared conference rooms. Learn more.

Postman’s Porch Opens

An old park finds new life under a plan by Gabriel Yeager of Milwaukee Downtown. The plan builds on a temporary placemaking initiative from NEWaukeeSee the changes.

Everyone Gets a Balcony at The Huron

While it’s already under construction, J. Jeffers & Co. is continuing to modify the design of the 11-story Huron Building at 511 N. Broadway.

The latest changes come in response to a request by anchor tenant Husch Blackwell, which is leasing 71,000 square feet in the building.  The law firm will have three exterior balconies, each just under 700 square feet, and larger windows as part of a plan approved Monday by the Historic Preservation Commission. Learn more.

Near West Side Community Cleanup

Last week representatives of a host of near west side employers gathered for a large community cleanup. The effort, led by Near West Side Partners, including participants from Catholic Financial Life, Milwaukee Center for Independence, Penfield Children’s Center, Quorum Architects, Marquette University, Potawatomi Business Development Corp., Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors and Tripoli Shrine Center.

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