(Update: Adding video)
Firm asks city for 15-year property tax exemption on value of improvements
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Redmond City Council will hear plans next week for Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pizza to relocate all of its operations, including its corporate headquarters, from Clackamas County to Redmond.
The recruitment of Wild Mikes Ultimate Pizza, a dba of SA Piazza & Associates, LLC, is the culmination of a year-long partnership conversations between the city of Redmond, Redmond Economic Development Inc. and SA Piazza & Associates LLC.
The company plans to purchase a 46-acre parcel, located at Northeast Ninth Street and Antler Avenue, and invest approximately $40 million to build a new facility of more than 270,000 square feet that will eventually employ 114 people.
“Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pizza enhances the strong constellation of Redmond’s manufacturing and distribution sectors,” stated Redmond Mayor George Endicott. “They are a powerhouse and fit in nicely with the existing lineup such as Nosler, PCC Schlosser, Medline, Eberhard’s, McConnel Labs, FuelSafe, BasX and others.”
Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pizza is a third-generation frozen pizza manufacturer presently operating in the Portland metro area, distributing products to school districts and grocery retailers across 46 states. The company has a significant growth trajectory requiring a larger, consolidated and more efficient production facility in a cost-effective location.
“This is a great example of a public- private partnership to encourage economic development projects in the Redmond community,” says Jon Stark, senior director of Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI). “The company was looking at multiple locations both in and out of state, and selected Redmond due to land availability, staff responsiveness, access to the Long-Term Rural Enterprise Zone program, and the quality-of-life Central Oregon has to offer.”
As part of the recruitment, Wild Mike’s is seeking a 15-year property tax exemption on the value of the improvements (taxes on the land are not exempted).
To receive a 15-year exemption, eligible projects must create a minimum of 50 jobs within three years of occupancy, at a compensation of 150% of county average and invest at least $12.5 million – which this project exceeds.
The Enterprise Zone program is a locally sponsored, state statutorily governed program that has been in existence in Redmond since 1988. However, this is the first project eligible to receive the Long Term Rural 15-year tax abatement.
“The city’s job incentive program will help us realize our ambition of becoming one of America’s largest pizza manufacturers, without having to the leave the state where my family was born and raised,” states Wild Mike’s Ultimate Pizza President and CEO Steve Piazza. “We are excited to build this dream in Redmond, Oregon and hire hundreds of new associates to join our team.”
Recognizing the length of this exemption, Wild Mikes has agreed to pay an annual “Community Investment Fee (CIF)” equal to $618 per full-time equivalent jobs adjusted annually starting Jan. 1, 2022.
The CIF is expected to generate approximately $70,000 per year.
City staff are recommending to City Council the CIF be directed towards public safety. Keeping public safety services (officers per thousand) at pace with population growth has been an identified goal for City Council and staff for many years. With the estimated cost to the General Fund for each new officer at around $144,000 (salary, benefits, equipment), the ability to offset this through the CIF would free up an equal amount of General Fund dollars for other eligible services and investments.
The Long-Term Rural Enterprise Zone agreement for Wild Mike’s will be presented to Redmond City Council for approval on March 16. Following council approval, it then needs to be approved by the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners and the City of Sisters (who are also co-sponsors of the zone).
About Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI)
Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), in collaboration with Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), is a private, non-profit corporation established in 1987 as a partnership between private business and the public sector to encourage economic development in the City of Redmond, Oregon. Its mission is to create prosperity through community and business development. REDI serves as an advocate for Redmond’s industrial companies and assists them by providing information about Redmond as an area for business, relocation, or expansion. For more information, visit www.rediinfo.com.