A second-generation, family owned company that has been operating for 40 years in Fairfield is moving to a new, high-profile location.
AA Plumbing will relocate its headquarters from 3259 Homeward Way to 6701 Dixie Highway, a location that has been vacant for eight years, partially due to a prohibitive asking price, according to AA Plumbing owner Rafael Salem.
“I feel they were asking for more than what it was worth and that’s why it wasn’t being sold,” said Salem, 36, a Fairfield High School graduate. “It wasn’t appraising for what they were asking.”
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Bringing the price down made the dream of moving to the new location a more affordable reality, he said.
AA Plumbing got its start in 1978 via Rafael Salem’s parents, Frank and Mary Salem, who retired from day-to-day operations of the business last April but still act as advisers for the company.
“The beauty of it is my father helped me figure out how to run the field, the technicians, and my mother helped me learn the office administrative portion of the business, so I got the best of both worlds, to where I feel comfortable being able to take it to the next level with the relocation and expansion,” Salem said.
Salem said he chose to relocate the business to Ohio 4 mainly because of the additional space offered by the 10,000-square-foot building.
“We are growing, we’re expanding and we’re training apprentices to become plumbers,” he said. “We want to showcase our installs. We have a plumbing showroom, which has a huge emphasis on ADA compliance and also aging in place.”
That means, for example, being able to service a 65- to 70-year-old senior who has a bathtub but now needs something they can roll into with their wheelchair.
In addition to serving as the site of the business’ headquarters, and offering a showroom, plumbing supplies and a plumbing training school.
Another positive factor to the new Ohio 4 location is its increased visibility.
“It’s my understanding that 35,000 to 40,000 cars pass there every day,” Salem said. “Location, location, location. We’re going to expand on our existing property. We’re in an industrial park, kind of slightly hidden from the general public, so we figured if we were going to spend money on expansion, we might as well do it where we’re going to be seen.”
Because the business has a plumbing and a restoration division, it was able to gut the run-down, water-damaged Ohio 4 building down to its foundation and framing and redo it from scratch.
Renovation efforts should conclude by late April and the new location should open sometime in late spring.
The property, which was the site of a double homicide in 2008, has been vacant since about 2010.
Fairfield Economic Development Manager Alex Kraemer said the purchase and renovation of the facility, which most recently was home to Mexican restaurant Casa Tequila, is a “win-win” for both the company and the city.
“You have them staying in Fairfield, which is what we really want to see happen and, to add to that .. they’re taking a property that was pretty dilapidated and making a good renovation and they’re even planning an expansion.
“It’ll go from a site that was an eyesore to a really nice-looking site and just continue that redevelopment that we’ve seen take place from several years ago (along Ohio 4) and hopefully keep moving on up Route 4.
AA Plumbing employs 16 people, not including subcontractors, and continues to grow and look for new hires. For more information, call 513-758-6237.