Palermo’s planning $9.5 million in facility upgrades

Company seeking New Markets Tax Credits from FIRE

Giacomo Fallucca
Giacomo Fallucca

The maker of Palermo’s Pizza is planning $9.5 million in upgrades to its 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Menomonee Valley.

Giacomo Fallucca
Giacomo Fallucca, Palermo Villa president and chief executive officer

West Allis-based First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise is considering allocating $9.25 million in New Markets Tax Credits for the Palermo Villa Inc. project, which would focus on transforming the layout of the facility’s packaging area. The packaging area currently has three lines and would be reconfigured to maintain maximum speed while adding new equipment for shrink wrapping, cartonning, case packaging and palletizing.

The new layout will give employees a more ergonomically-friendly workspace while also implementing equipment needed to stay competitive, according to a memo prepared for the FIRE advisory board. It also will reduce the amount of corrugate required per case of finished product by 15 percent.

“If Palermo’s does not undertake the investment, Palermo’s will eventually lose market share and could be forced to downsize its operations and workforce,” the memo said, later adding job loss would begin in 2019 and that competitors already have installed similar equipment.

Completing the upgrades would result in the retention of 92 jobs. The average salary at the plant is $27,643, plus benefits, according to the memo. Palermo’s employs 685 people, including 589 at the facility receiving upgrades.

The company also is pledging $10,000 to Beyond Vision and $36,250 to the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation as part of the project.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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