Surprises come in unexpected places.
I arrived in Rutland to show a modest ranch a stone's throw from the Giancola Construction's main office on unassuming Granger Street. Mr. Giancola wanted to have a look and the fun started.
I had no idea what I was in for. We sat in Joe's office and he spun a web of history, how it all began, humble beginnings, earnest efforts, diligence leading to success upon success. His son Peter joined us, adding to the tale of expansion and discovery.
Joe Giancola embodies a wonderful combination of confidence and charm. He is comfortable with a stranger, setting a relaxed table for smiles, exchange and story. The Giancolas are obviously a handsomely equipped clan. They came across an incredible opportunity and jumped.
Before we get to the making of an empire, Joe, his son Peter and I strolled up Granger to 88 South to have a look at the possibilities, taking a keen eye and a quick analysis of the pitfalls and strengths. Dealing with thousands of investors, these two stand tall. Nuts to bolts, they know construction and what it takes to buy, flip and hold. Not a word wasted, their combined talents cut to the chase. Even the most modest lodging holds promise in the right hands.
Joe found his way early, networking with and securing loans from banks from the time he was in college. Born into a modest home, he learned the value of struggle and legal tender. Ingenuity and brass tacks perseverance. The fruits of his labors began to pour in; his train rolled fast and conquests multiplied. Rutland would never be the same. By twenty, he started his own construction company and purchased a house across the street form his family home. A self proclaimed scavenger, Joe collected machinery and Giancola Construction thrived. He purchased house after run down house, fixed and leased to dozens of commercial, non-profit and manufacturing companies, acquiring valuable skills while marking the Rutland market to the point that many banks have him on their short list.
Then came the peach.
18 acres and over 20 buildings abandoned. Industrial toxic wasteland, Aero Jet strung out. Bidder after bidder fell short. Then Joe entered the scene at once capitalizing on the toxic chemical clean up for his construction company and taking advantage of an historic opportunity. Mammoth undertaking is an understatement. Industrial incubation. The Howe Scale Co briefly employed Joe in 1956, not realizing it's destiny had Giancola written all over it.
Joe extended an invitation to take a drive to tour his paradise. Sensing something special, I thankfully accepted and we took off (Joe is an airplane pilot too). House after house, they were his. Score upon score, Joseph had purchased and reinvigorated, fixed and flipped, bought and held. Single family to duplex, multi-family to commercial exploit including offices and a handsome laundromat, an industrial warehouse with nearly 150 parking spaces for the car owner seeking safe harbor. A popular dog wash business. The Giancolas even installed their own metered gas distribution network at Howe Center, markedly improving their numbers. A diversified and forward thinking renaissance man, Mr. Giancola is an entrepreneur par excellence.
It was a hot sunny afternoon, a great tour thanks to an industrial giant, and a pleasure to discover the Giancola empire.Here's a statement from the Giancola Family of Companies website:
"The Giancola Family operates a variety of companies in Rutland, VT. that provide services in real estate, construction, tool & equipment rental, car washing and laundry services. Our focus on real estate is underscored by our commitment to providing exactly the commercial space you need.
We pride ourselves on being innovative in constructing solutions for our customers that meet their current and future needs along with meeting their existing budget constraints. The breadth and depth of solutions we offer assures you that we can accommodate almost any request in some manner. The rental spaces in our inventory range from all types of residences to one-room offices all the way up to larger (up to 20,000 square feet) commercial/industrial spaces. Contact us and we will be glad to show off our capabilities and resources and sit down with you to structure the best possible deal for you."
This blog post is based on conversations with Joe & Peter Giancola and their family published "Howe To Book" on revitalizing old commercial industrial facilities, the Giancola family and the Howe Center story. Special thanks to Joe & Peter Giancola for their generous time and information.