MOUNT PLEASANT — Hammes Company, whose founder has Racine roots, will be the master planner for Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park, Foxconn Technology Group’s future manufacturing campus, Foxconn announced Monday.
Hammes Co. will serve as Foxconn’s lead partner in planning infrastructure and other development activities for the $10 billion project. As part of that initiative, Foxconn will also invite other developers to participate in the park’s development.
Hammes Co. is led by its founder and CEO Jon Hammes, who was born and raised in Racine. His $250,000 donation helped make the Hammes Field stadium, which opened in 1999, a reality. Hammes Field, adjacent to Case High School in Mount Pleasant, is named for Jon’s late father, Don Hammes.
Jon Hammes is serving as Gov. Scott Walker's campaign finance chairman for his re-election bid, the Associated Press reported. He also served in that role during Walker's run for president in 2015.
His company has been ranked the country’s largest developer of health care facilities 17 of the past 20 years. His sports development unit was the construction manager for Lambeau Field’s $295 million renovation. Hammes Co. also was the project manager for the $1.6 billion, 80,000-seat MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
Locally, in March 2017 Hammes Co. was chosen as the city’s “owner’s representative” for the arena, convention center and hotel that was proposed for the corner of Gaslight Drive and Lake Avenue. The city awarded Hammes Co. up to $600,000 for the project’s first phase, an evaluation of the project’s feasibility. The project ultimately died when Mayor Cory Mason fulfilled a campaign promise and vetoed the plan.
Brookfield-based Hammes Co. also has a private-equity group, Hammes said Monday. The company currently has about 200 employees, he said.
“We are pleased to appoint Hammes Company to support the development of the master plan for our campus, which will positively change the face of advanced manufacturing in Wisconsin,” said Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn founder and CEO Terry Gou.
The approximately 2,900-acre Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park will also be home to Foxconn’s supply chain partners, Woo said, and “many of the world’s most innovative start-ups and leading global companies.”
“Hammes Company, with its deep roots in Wisconsin and understanding of the state’s unique competitive advantages as an investment location, is an ideal partner for Foxconn in realizing many aspects of our vision for this important project and our ‘Wisconsin First’ commitment to contribute to the state’s attractiveness as a global high-tech hub,” Woo added.
Hammes said by phone Monday that developing a campus as large as Foxconn’s must start with a master plan that shows how the site will be served by roads and utilities. It will anticipate how to efficiently move people about the campus.
“From that you have a buildable site, and you can bring in other developers to implement the plan,” he said.
Hammes said the goal will be a plan that leads to a campus that, in 10 years or 20, will show “forethought and sound design,” with the flexibility to receive future technologies.
The master plan will take into account the topography and location of natural features such as creeks and ponds,” Hammes said.
“And you use that to author a plan that works with Mother Nature and what you want to develop.”
Hammes continued, “You make (the park) a destination point, globally and nationally,” from O’Hare International Airport, for people who will come from either coast or offshore. It will need amenities for both visitors and future workers, so planners will ask themselves where those people will live, eat, hold conferences, have recreational areas and the like.
Asked whether the plan will include on-campus housing, Hammes replied, “It’s not central to the campus, but you wouldn’t want to preclude it at this point.”
The plan will try to anticipate everything thousands of people will need, he said, so the mixed-use campus will have coffee shops, restaurants, healthcare, hotels and places for academia, as examples.
“Hammes Company is one of the most trusted providers of real estate solutions in the United States, stated Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s director of U.S. strategic initiatives and president of FEWI Development Corp. “The WVSTP will attract leading vertical industry leaders and high-tech companies, higher education institutions and research institutes to establish their presence in Wisconn Valley. Our goal is to establish the park as a key base for scientific and technology cooperation between the U.S. and Asia, where technical talent and entrepreneurs in America can meet investors and leading technologists from Japan, China and elsewhere from Asia.”
Foxconn said the future Wisconn Valley park is poised to become one of the largest and most-significant business park projects in North America. Its aim is to foster technology investment and scientific innovation that go beyond Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, to eventually reach all parts of the United States.
The park, Foxconn said, “will serve a catalytic role in the research and development of advanced manufacturing processes and technologies in education, medical and healthcare, entertainment and sports, security, and smart community, among many others.”