When Foxconn announced its plans to open facilities in Wisconsin back in 2017, it promised to invest $10 billion into bringing production to the US that was expected to lead to as many as 13,000 jobs. Now, the Taiwanese supplier to tech giants like Apple is selling two properties in Eau Claire and Green Bay, purchased for almost $12 million in 2018. The property listings were first reported by Wisconsin Public Radio (via Gizmodo and The Verge), which revealed that only three floors of the Green Bay building's six floors are in use. Meanwhile, the portion Foxconn owns in a mixed-use property in Eau Claire has reportedly remained empty for years.
Foxconn originally said that it was going to build "innovation centers" in Wisconsin, including one that will serve as an LCD factory. The project was supposed to be massive enough to strike a $2.85 billion tax credit deal with the local government. At the time the project was announced, then President Donald Trump said that if he didn't get elected, Foxconn "wouldn't be spending $10 billion" on manufacturing in the US. The former president was also there when the project broke ground, equipped with a golden shovel.
In 2021, however, Foxconn massively altered the scale of the project and told the local government that it would be investing $672 million instead of $10 billion like it intended. It also reduced the number of potential jobs produced to 1,454 from 13,000 positions. The company said back then that its original projections "changed due to unanticipated market fluctuations" and that reducing the scale of its project in the US gives it the "flexibility to pursue business opportunities in response to changing global market conditions."
Foxconn didn't comment on its Eau Claire property, but it told WPR that it "will add to the vibrancy of the city's downtown." Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich posted on X that he hopes a sale "will lead to better utilization of a fantastic waterfront building."