Downtown Car Wash

The week was full of business news from the car wash industry. Here are the top four stories you should know about:

1. The $25 million car wash. Called Downtown Car Wash, this establishment has just about the best location in Los Angeles. “It’s like the corner of Main Street and Main Street,” a real estate broker told the Los Angeles Times.

The car wash sold recently for an undisclosed amount, but it was listed for $25 million. The owner purchased it in 1980 for $525,000. The new owner, a major developer, plans to tear it down and build a hotel-and-condominium there.

2. NASCAR Car Wash pushing into at least five states. The car racing-themed Chicago brand has a new chief executive officer, and it’s getting ready to expand its locations around the country. “Controlled growth is an absolute challenge,” CEO Craig Nelson told Crain’s Chicago Business. “You see brands grow too quickly and uncontrolled.” The car wash industry is predicted to sustain 2.3 percent growth through 2019.

3. “Car wash business is in his blood.” An investor in Greenville, South Carolina, is building up a car wash where a weedy lot now sits. “You take a risk, and hopefully it pans out,” Bob Soltys, a Chicago native, tells GSA Business. “I’ve been in the manufacturing sector, saved money and ready to branch out on my own.” He figures he’ll hire seven employees and build a high-tech facility.

4. Employees raise funds for injured colleague. Here’s a story that starts out very badly and ends with some inspiration to start the weekend right. Last weekend, an elderly woman trying to leave the Auburn, Alabama, Goo-Goo Express Car Wash hit three cars and injured two employees. One escaped with bruises. The other was injured so badly, his foot had to be amputated.

According to The Auburn Villager, the community felt so bad when they heard the news that they started offering money to help him out. “(The community) was rather concerned, and as a result we decided to open up an account,” Chip Emery, Goo-Goo general manager, told the paper. The injured employee is from Guatemala, and his family is still there, which means he’s been dealing with this without that support. It seems his colleagues and complete strangers have filled the void.