According to a Milwaukee Business Times report
, GMAR is forecasting a potential spike in new home construction in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth Counties due to Foxconn’s arrival, which involves initial plans for employing 3,000 people. During the first five months of this year, there were 91 building permits for new single-family houses in Racine County, 66 in Kenosha County and 46 in Walworth County. GMAR is also anticipating an increase in office and retail property construction in connection to this economic development.
“The scale of new growth is probably somewhat similar to what the city of Milwaukee experienced after World War II, when the city saw acre, upon acre of new housing and commercial development radiate out from the city center to the south, west and north,” said Mike Ruzicka, President of GMAR.
However, David Belman, President of Belman Homes and President of the Wisconsin Builders Association
, warned that the local municipalities need to consider creating workforce housing or smaller homes at price points workers can afford: On average, it costs $84,671 to build a home in these markets, and Belman noted it was difficult to build a house for less than $300,000—which could be too expensive for new Foxconn workers earning an average of $53,000 per year.
“It is great for our state to have this kind of growth and development and we are going to work to promote this and get homes built in that area,” Belman said. “But it might not just be homes that are getting built, but apartments as well. Regardless, this will be a good thing for Wisconsin for years to come.”