Foxconn Technology Group is eyeing an office building on Capitol Square for a possible lease or purchase.
A limited liability company named FE One West Main Madison registered with the state Department of Financial Institutions on Feb. 14 using Foxconn’s Milwaukee headquarters address. Alan Hung is listed as the registered agent.
The Taiwanese electronics company has used a similar naming structure for its other real estate purchases in Wisconsin, according to BizTimes Milwaukee, which first reported the registration on Tuesday.
The building connected to the LLC registration, 1 W. Main St., is owned by BMO Harris Bank. The building is prime real estate at the corner of Main Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, but isn’t listed as being for sale or lease on a website maintained by the Madison Central Business Improvement District. It’s unclear if the website’s listings are comprehensive.
BMO spokesman Patrick O’Herlihy declined to confirm or deny a pending deal.
“We regularly look at real estate options that make sense for our business,” he said.
Matt Wachter, manager of the city of Madison’s Office of Real Estate Services, said Foxconn has not contacted the city for a site search. He said that is not uncommon and some firms work through a broker instead.
Foxconn Technology Group in a statement did not confirm nor deny it was looking at the 1 W. Main St. property.
“Foxconn can confirm its ongoing search for relevant real estate properties in the state of Wisconsin — for lease and/or acquisition purposes,” the company’s statement said. “To facilitate such process, Foxconn has registered a number of LLCs as part of its expansion of the Wisconn Valley Innovation Network. … Registration of any LLCs does not automatically suggest a real estate transaction would take place.”
Foxconn announced in late August a $100 million matching grant to UW-Madison that will help fund an interdisciplinary research facility for students and faculty to collaborate closely with the company’s Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park near Racine.
The agreement spells out that a Foxconn-sponsored building will be located on the campus’ engineering quad and a facility located close to campus will be owned by Foxconn.
UW-Madison spokeswoman Meredith McGlone said the university is unaware of Foxconn’s off-campus location.
Foxconn has promised to employ up to 13,000 people at its liquid-crystal-display manufacturing facility in Racine County, which would allow it to qualify for more than $4 billion in state and local taxpayer subsidies, the largest taxpayer-backed economic development incentive to a foreign corporation in U.S. history.
Questions have surfaced in recent months about the company’s intentions at the site after it scaled back its original manufacturing plans and a company official cast doubt on whether it could competitively manufacture LCD screens in the U.S. The company announced in early February it would move forward with a smaller LCD manufacturing facility than stated in its $3 billion state tax credit contract after President Donald Trump intervened.
Foxconn is one of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers and supplies products to Apple, Google and Amazon.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name of the publication that first reported on Foxconn's interest in the BMO Harris Bank building Downtown. It is BizTimes Milwaukee.]