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From day one, we’ve been saying that Foxconn’s $10 billion investment in the Village of Mount Pleasant is just the start. There has been much speculation about potential ancillary development and investment — both from Foxconn suppliers and unrelated businesses. But now, as work begins on Foxconn’s 22-million-square foot technology park, that speculation is turning into reality as businesses and developers consider how best to capitalize on the Foxconn opportunity and the various needs of the thousands of employees who will work, and hopefully live and play in Racine County.

In terms of housing, we’re seeing movement throughout the region. Plans for new luxury apartment buildings are in the works in Union Grove, and our neighbors in Pleasant Prairie are also adding new housing developments. We’re also seeing educational institutions plan for the influx of students who want to be well positioned for the new jobs that will be available. Gateway Technical College is planning a $5 million expansion of its Sturtevant campus – located just north of the Foxconn campus.

We’ve also seen interest from the hospitality and retail sectors. There are plans for an extended-stay hotel along the southeast I-94 frontage road, which is currently being considered by Village officials. Additionally, recently we learned of plans for a multi-tenant retail development on a two-acre parcel just north of Highway 20 and east of the frontage road.

Most exciting for me, personally, was Advocate Aurora Health Care’s recent announcement that it is planning a $250 million project in the Village of Mount Pleasant, including a hospital, two clinics and a medical office building. The new medical complex will not only meet the growing needs in our community, it will provide another source of jobs and economic development for local residents.

This week, we even saw the Federal Government come to the table with a significant investment spurred by the Foxconn development. On Wednesday, Governor Walker announced that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) received a $160 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant to assist in funding construction of the I-94 North-South Freeway Project in Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee Counties. As we consider these multiple ancillary developments, it only intensifies the need for an efficient, modern roadway system that seamlessly integrates local roads. The grant will ensure that I-94 will receive the necessary improvements needed to move people within and through our region in the most efficient, timely and effective way possible—while reducing state taxpayer investment associated with the project.

These are only the projects that have been publicly announced. We know from our experience, and the experience of our partners like the Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC), that many other companies are considering an investment in Racine County. From day one, I’ve referred to this project as “transformational,” I think we are just starting to see that come to fruition as we start to grasp just how much of a game changer Foxconn’s Mount Pleasant investment is for our community, county, region and state.

Dave DeGroot is president of the Village of Mount Pleasant.

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