With the lease coming up at the end of the year, executives at FABCO Rents, a wholly owned subsidiary of FABCO Equipment Inc., began searching for a new home for its Waukesha operations in April 2005.
It did not take long for FABCO President and CEO Jerè Fabick to settle on the unlikely choice of an old airport hangar across the street from Waukesha Airport at 2445 Pewaukee Rd. (Highway J).
“He liked the history of the location,” said FABCO Rents General Manager Joe Weldie. “It represents the Fabicks history with aviation. With close to eight acres of land, it certainly serves our functional purposes as well. He had a great vision for this place. It has a lot of character as a facility.”
Of course, it would take a little work before the site was ready for operation. Following a generally simple acquisition, crews began renovating the two buildings. After more than a year, FABCO Rents’ new Waukesha facility celebrated its grand opening July 27. Close to 700 registered guests and approximately 200 unregistered braved a rainy Thursday to tour the grounds.
“The place was in a pretty decrepit state when we took it over,” said Weldie. “Many people wanted to raze both buildings and build a whole new facility. Jerè did not want to do that. We ended up preserving a lot of the original features, including the existing woodwork in the ceiling and the main infrastructure. They did a tremendous job.”
Building A is the site’s main showroom and point-of-sale site. The executive offices of FABCO Rents’ administrative staff are also located there. As headquarters for FABCO Rents, the Waukesha site acts as a hub for rental operations throughout southeast Wisconsin, providing operational support for its Milwaukee, Madison, Racine and Kenosha branches.
Building B houses the parts and services functions of the facility. A unique feature pulls the entire site together: a control tower.
“That was originally built for aesthetic purposes,” said Weldie. “But we ended up finding a good use for it. Our truck dispatcher works from there. He has a great bird’s eye view of the yard and can direct the traffic.”
For more information, call 262/513-6666.