Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said the city has not heard back from Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn about potential interest in taking over the shuttered Oscar Mayer site or two other sites at the city’s edge.
Soglin, at a press conference on Wednesday, also said he doubts Foxconn would seriously look at the Oscar Mayer property because it doesn’t fit the company’s expressed interest in building on undeveloped land.
Foxconn is proposing a $10 billion liquid crystal display plant in southeastern Wisconsin that could eventually employ 13,000 people at an average salary of $53,000 a year. The company also is considering expanding its Wisconsin presence to the Dane County area, officials have confirmed.
Soglin, at the suggestion of the Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP), submitted the Oscar Mayer property and two other undisclosed sites at the edge of the city as locations for a potential $505 million, 700,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that could employ as many as 650 people in its first five years of operation.
The mayor last week said he recommended the Oscar Mayer site even though it’s not on undeveloped land, as Foxconn has requested, because it has easy access to the airport, Interstate, rail and bus lines and plenty of power and water.
On Wednesday, Soglin again criticized the state’s consideration of giving Foxconn nearly $3 billion in refundable tax credits as part of an incentive package to lure the larger facility to the southeastern part of the state.
Such a large enticement could set expectations and standards for future arrangements, the mayor said, adding that if Foxconn builds in Madison, “It’s going to be on our terms. It’s not going to be the kind of giveaway we’re seeing take place in state government.”