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Renters face eviction with minimum notice, then Foxconn, after inquiry, offers more time

Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on

Published in Home and Consumer News

"Our local team has been instructed to meet with those tenants and ascertain all the facts with regard to their tenancy, and will in good faith attempt to find a legal means to allow them to remain on the properties for at least 90 days from the notice date.

"While we are focused on moving forward with this important project, we are also committed to doing it as responsibly as possible."

The Foxconn project, as is widely known, involves construction of a 22-million-square-foot electronics factory that could employ 13,000 people. To land the company, the state pledged $3 billion in public aid, and local governments will spend $764 million. The locals expect to recoup their money in the form of taxes on Foxconn's property and nearby development.

What Foxconn will do with the Sturtevant parcel isn't yet clear. The designated area for the company's factory and associated development is immense -- nearly 3,000 acres, or more than four square miles, and it's unknown why Foxconn would want still more.

Residents in the development area, which is almost entirely in Mount Pleasant and is covered by the contract between the company and local government, have protections that aren't immediately available to those outside the boundaries. Renters and homeowners alike in the area will have at least 90 days to move after their property is sold for Foxconn. And Mount Pleasant residents already have known since early October that they ultimately will have to move to accommodate Foxconn's planned mega-factory.

But whatever Foxconn's reason for seeking the land in Sturtevant, it isn't the only other property the company has its eye on.

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The Foxconn-related entity that contracted to buy the land in Sturtevant -- a recently organized company called Adams Street Development, LLC -- late last month also bought 65 acres about four miles south, in Kenosha County, for $1 million.

Foxconn spokeswoman Genevieve Chow declined to say what the firm will do with the Kenosha County parcel.

"The company is finalizing plans for all of its land acquisitions and we will provide you with updates as information becomes available," Chow said by email.

William C. Dexter, owner of 39 of the 100 acres at issue in Sturtevant, said Foxconn told him last Thursday that he had to give his tenants a 28-day eviction notice. He said a representative of Pitts Brothers & Associates, a Kenosha real estate firm that has been working on the Foxconn deal, also told him to promptly deliver the notices.

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