As it announced contractors Tuesday for construction of its factory in Racine County, Foxconn Technology Group signaled that the enormous complex will have a broader focus than simply manufacturing display panels.
The planned $10 billion campus in Mount Pleasant, which is to employ thousands, also will “serve as a science and technology park to promote research and development in advanced technologies” in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, automation and the internet of things, the Taiwan-based firm said.
Construction will begin within 60 days, overseen by a joint venture of Gilbane Building Co. and M+W Group.
Gilbane is based in Providence, R.I., and has an office in Milwaukee with more than 50 employees, a number that will grow significantly with the Foxconn contract, Gilbane corporate communications director Wes Cotter said.
Gilbane has worked in the Milwaukee area for about 40 years, he said.
M+W, a global engineering and construction firm based in Stuttgart, Germany, was described by Foxconn as having “specific expertise in advanced technology facilities.”
Also named Tuesday as lead contractors were CH2M Hill Companies Ltd. and The Sigma Group.
Denver-based CH2M, along with its corporate parent, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., of Dallas, will provide engineering and architecture services including planning and environmental permitting.
The contractors on the project “all have strong ties to Wisconsin,” Foxconn said in its announcement.
Gilbane's projects in the Milwaukee area include the 32-story Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, the 381-room Potawatomi Hotel and its planned 19-story expansion, the ManpowerGroup headquarters, and Discovery World science and technology center.
Cotter said Gilbane has had "a large, permanent presence" in Milwaukee since 2003, when it acquired construction management firm Grunau Project Development Inc.
Forbes magazine ranks Gilbane as America's 78th largest private company, with 2016 revenue of $4.9 billion.
M+W Group manages projects for clients in such sectors as electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, information technology and energy. The company posted sales of about $2.3 billion in fiscal 2016.
According to its website, M+W has worked on 40% of the world's semiconductor wafer factories. The firm has designed plants that make flat-panel displays, as Foxconn plans to do in Mount Pleasant.
M+W Gilbane will begin issuing bid requests in the next several weeks.