Palermo’s plans to add hot press bakery, make more pizza crust types

Seeking tax credits for $13.3 million undertaking

Palermo's Pizza.
Palermo's Pizza plant and headquarters in Milwaukee.

Palermo’s Pizza plans to add a hot press bakery to its Milwaukee facility and begin making additional types of pizza crust, an undertaking that carries a $13.3 million price tag.

The Milwaukee-based pizza maker would buy equipment necessary for the hot press bakery process, which would allow it to produce rising pizza crusts and hot press pizza crusts, according to a report from First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise Inc. (FIRE), West Allis’ regional community development entity.

For those efforts, the company is seeking $12 million in New Markets Tax Credits, $4 million of which would come from FIRE. Members of the FIRE Government Board, Advisory Board and Investment Committee will consider the proposal on Monday morning.

“Overall, the project is will allow Palermo’s to remain competitive within its industry and create and retain quality and accessible jobs in a severely distressed community,” the report states.

Palermo’s, located at 3301 W. Canal St., currently doesn’t have the capacity to make these types of pizza crusts. It instead has to buy the rising crusts from outside vendors, which appears to be limiting its ability to increase sales, according to the report.

Once the equipment is purchased, Palermo’s will be able to make an estimated 50 million crusts each year. This would eliminate the need to purchase the crusts from other vendors.

This would be the company’s fourth NMTC allocation. The first involved the relocation of its corporate headquarters in 2005, and the second involved the subsequent expansion of its manufacturing facility. The third was an investment into the manufacturing plant’s packaging capabilities.

“Palermo Villa, Inc. is pleased to be moving forward with its expansion plan in the Menomonee Valley,” Giacomo Fallucca, chief executive officer of Palermo Villa Inc., said in a statement. “Our proposal will create new jobs and improve our ability to grow. Our plan also is consistent with the vision, goals and priorities for the Menomonee Valley area, and once completed, this expansion will help Palermo’s remain competitive in the marketplace. It also means we can protect existing jobs and create new jobs in an area that needs more economic growth. We appreciate the support of our partners, including FirstPathway Partners, FIRE, Baker Tilly Capital, US Bank, the City of Milwaukee and the others who have helped make this expansion possible.”

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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