Groundbreaking for Palermo Villa expansion is today

Palermo Villa Inc., the manufacturer of Palermo’s Pizza, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony today to celebrate the start of construction for a 100,000-square-foot expansion of its headquarters located at 3301 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley.

The existing Palermo Villa headquarters facility has 135,000 square feet of space and currently consists of the company’s production and storage facilities, as well as corporate offices, meeting areas, a retail store, outdoor piazza, and an Italian-style pizzeria café.

The addition to the building will provide space for an expanded production area and additional employee amenities.

“We’re extremely pleased to be expanding our facility in the newly developed Menomonee Valley, an area that has supported our company’s steady growth,” said Giacomo Fallucca, president and CEO of Palermo Villa Inc. “This expansion will enable us to capitalize on opportunities to extend our national distribution and respond quickly to increased product demand.”

The $22 million expansion project is expected to create 56 jobs, and the company expects to grow to approximately 450 employees by 2011.

The state Department of Commerce announced that it is providing $342,000 in tax credits for the project.

Palermo Villa Inc. was the first Milwaukee manufacturer to develop a site in the 140-acre Menomonee Valley Industrial Center, a business park developed on the west end of the valley, opening its Canal Street headquarters in August 2006.

In 2009, the company purchased the adjacent 2.98 acres to the south of its current location to accommodate the expansion.

The expansion project is being financed by U.S. Bank and the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

“Palermo’s is a model of the economic development that is possible in Milwaukee and the region,” said Laura Bray, executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners Inc., a public-private partnership working to revitalize the Menomonee Valley. “In 2005, it was estimated that the company would reach 270 jobs. (Now) the company expects to grow to approximately 450 employees by the end of 2011."

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