The Hunt County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to award tax abatements for both a local industry and a new company which is developing a high technology method to make and deliver pizzas.
Fritz Industries received one of the abatements and Zume Incorporated, which will be leasing space inside the former Newell-Rubbermaid plant in Greenville, received the other.
The commissioners also approved the creation of a reinvestment zone for the property at 7121 Shelby Avenue and awarded a Freeport exemption for the site.
The Greenville City Council was scheduled to consider the same measures during its regular session Tuesday night.
Greenville Board of Development CEO Greg Sims spoke to the commissioners Tuesday and presented videos which demonstrated what Zume is all about; namely using automated machines to create and cook pizzas.
“This would be a heavily robotic type of operation,” Sims said.
While the Greenville plant would not be used to create pizzas, at least not right away, it would be tasked with creating the company’s “Pizza Pod” boxes, which are designed to keep the pizzas steaming hot and fresh until they are delivered to residences.
The company is also looking at ways to completely build the pizzas from robots and then deliver them using vans which are able to cook the pizza during the delivery to a home.
Sims said the company is wanting to lease approximately 400,000 square feet of the Greenville plant from Fritz.
“They are in negotiations for the real estate right now,” he said.
Zume would employ approximately 320 employees within three years, with an average salary of $37,880 and with managers making about $83,000 per year.
“They would automatically become the number two power customer for GEUS in a very short period of time,” Sims said.
The proposed abatement is calling for 50 percent on the city and county taxes for Zume’s $200 million in personal property investment and $50 million for Fritz Industries’ business business property investment for 10 years.
“This is going to be a historic day for Hunt County and for Greenville,” Sims said.
GBOD President Randy Tarpley said the agency was happy to welcome Zume to Greenville.
“This is an exciting day due to the enormity of this project,” Tarpley said.
The commissioners approved all of the measures by unanimous votes.
“Thank you for allowing our community to work with you,” said County Judge Bobby Stovall.