MOUNT PLEASANT — Foxconn Industrial Internet plans to construct the Fii Smart Manufacturing Center along Braun Road on the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park campus.
The center is a more than 261,000-square-foot, one-story building with mezzanine, at 12001 Braun Road. The site is about midway between Interstate 94 and Highway H.
Fii is a spinoff of several former Foxconn business units created in June 2018. It filed its plans for the Smart Manufacturing Center with Mount Pleasant; the proposal will be on the agenda for consideration at Plan Commission and Village Board next week, according to Sam Schultz, the village community development coordinator.
According to the project narrative, the Fii SMC will house manufacturing, office support staff, packaging and shipping and receiving functions. The building’s design will accommodate the working population as well as visitors to the plant.
The mezzanine along the north side of the facility will house office, support and meeting spaces. Initially the building is designed to house 300 occupants with growth for up to 500 occupants.
Currently, Fii is planning to start construction Oct. 14, reach “substantial completion” next May and take occupancy on Sept. 15, 2020.
The company further wrote, “This facility will primarily manufacture components for server racks. State-of-the-art stamping equipment is being planned within the facility along with server rooms and shipping and receiving docks.
“The design calls for a central bar that has skylights providing great daylight. Within the space are the lobby, break areas, work cafes and central toilet rooms. Employee locker rooms allow staff to change into work clothing.”
Documents show the Fii Smart Manufacturing Center being constructed directly east of the manufacturing building now under construction. It would be a one-story building with 219,311 square feet on that floor — but with a mezzanine of an additional 42,342 square feet.
Just south of that building, plans show parts of two more buildings, both labeled “by others.”
Change of plans
Before Schultz announced the Fii SMC building Thursday afternoon, it appeared Fii would bring an entirely different building project before village officials next week. The company had filed plans to construct a spherical, nine-story office building at the same address listed for the Smart Manufacturing Center.
Foxconn had submitted initial plans for the Fii data center for consideration at Zoning, Plan Commission and Village Board meetings this month, but has asked that they not yet be considered as they explore additional design options,” Schultz wrote.
According to documents filed with the village, that 11,000-square-foot, metal-and-glass structure would serve as a network operations center: a central location from which network administrators would manage, control and monitor one or more networks.
“The overall function is to maintain optimal network operations across a variety of platforms, mediums and communication channels,” Fii wrote. “This Network Operations Center will feature a visual representation of the networks being monitored and workstations where detailed network statuses are monitored. Software is employed to help manage the networks.”
In comparison with the planned nine-story office building, the Racine County Courthouse is 10 stories tall. Fii would need a variance from Mount Pleasant’s normal building height restrictions.
The documents for both buildings list the same project team which includes Eppstein Uhen Architects of Milwaukee and M.A. Mortenson Co. as the general contractor, also of Milwaukee.
Third building on campus
According to an Fii spokesman, “With vertical construction of the nearly 1 million square-foot Gen 6 Fab underway, Foxconn’s commitment to the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park (WVSTP) remains unchanged. Foxconn continues to evaluate additional design options for a High-Performance Data Center (HPDC) that meets the needs of the company, as well as the needs of business, academic and community partners. Once completed, a HPDC will be able to leverage computing capabilities to support AI initiatives, advanced manufacturing, and further attract business development and partnerships.”
Foxconn has said from the beginning that Wisconn Valley will be a $10 billion, 22-million-square-foot campus, although the company has changed some plans along the way to react to market conditions.
The Fii SMC would be the third structure started on the actual Wisconn Valley campus after the completed “multipurpose building” and the “fab,” or future thin-film-transistor fabrication plant now under construction. Last month, Foxconn Technology Group began vertical construction on that structure which will be the Taiwanese company’s first manufacturing operation ever in the United States.
In addition to those buildings on the actual Foxconn campus, the company also has its Education and Training Center at 13315 Globe Drive, a building that was constructed as a speculation industrial building before Foxconn took occupancy there.
Foxconn has also purchased two multistory buildings in Downtown Racine.
“With vertical construction of the nearly 1 million square-foot Gen 6 Fab underway, Foxconn’s commitment to the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park (WVSTP) remains unchanged. Foxconn continues to evaluate additional design options for a High-Performance Data Center (HPDC) that meets the needs of the company, as well as the needs of business, academic and community partners. Once completed, a HPDC will be able to leverage computing capabilities to support AI initiatives, advanced manufacturing, and further attract business development and partnerships.”