RACINE, Wis. — Residents of the southeastern Wisconsin
town where Foxconn Technology Group plans a massive
display screen plant greeted the announcement Wednesday
with excitement about the possible economic boost and
wistfulness about the community's changing landscape.
Foxconn announced the location of its planned factory
after months of negotiations with the company and the
village of Mount Pleasant in Racine County. The company
has said it intends to build a campus with about 20
million square feet of office space over 1.56 square
miles, eventually employing as many as 13,000 people to
manufacture liquid crystal display screens used on
phones, televisions, computers and other devices.
Tammy Graceffa, 54, the owner of the Hiawatha Bar and
Grill just south of the plant's expected location, said
the influx of workers and her land's possible purchase
could bring her financial gains. But still, she found
the moment bittersweet.
Tammy Graceffa, 51, owner of the Hiawatha Bar and Grill,
talks in her restaurant on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 in
Sturtevant, Wis., about Foxconn's announcement of the
location of its planned manufacturing plant in nearby
"Where we grew up and were raised will no longer be farm
fields. It will be concrete and industry," she said.
"You can't go back and say, 'This is the road where we
used to play ball."
The Wisconsin Legislature approved a $3 billion
incentive package for Foxconn — contingent on the
company fulfilling its jobs promise, and the state's
economic development agency is working on the final
contract. The intended industrial complex would be the
largest in the state.
"I think it's going to be really good. The economy ought
to pick its way up around here. It's been dragging a
little here in Racine (County)," said Michael Rosenbaum,
a village trustee in the town of Sturtevant, just a few
miles from Mount Pleasant.
Rosenbaum said he understands there are landowners who
are unhappy about being displaced, but hopes Foxconn
will "make sure that they get a decent deal."
"You can have another dream home. That's my feeling," he
But some landowners said they felt like they didn't have
"It's the Foxconn train. Get on or get run over," said
Katie Spencer, 27.
Gonzalo Perez, meanwhile, is already brainstorming ways
to get more people to his restaurant, the House of
Castlewood. The 50-year-old Mexican immigrant who bought
the diner in December said he's toying with the idea of
having a buffet so when the future workers come they can
come in and out quicker.
Gonzalo Perez, 50, owner of the House of Castlewood,
talks at his restaurant on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in
Sturtevant, Wis., about the potential economic benefit
from Foxconn building a manufacturing plant nearby. The
Taiwan-based company announced that the location for the
plant would be in Mount Pleasant, just across the
highway from Perez's restaurant.
restaurant is in Sturtevant but it's just across the
highway from the planned factory.
"This is like something of a miracle happening here
because nobody expected that kind of business would come
to a small town like Sturtevant," he said.