Work is underway to revive a busy car wash site that was abruptly shut down by Mother Nature last year when a severe storm triggered a small landslide.
Southern Classic Car Washwhich operated on Orange Avenue for more than 25 years, has been inactive since January 2021 after a steep slope immediately next to its building partially collapsed amid heavy rain that lasted all day.
The slide, which developed overnight and caused no injuries, crushed the rear of the building, leaving it a total loss.
The owners, who at the time had recently sold another location in Christiansburg, explored the possibility of rebuilding it, but ultimately decided to put the 1.5-acre property up for sale.
The site now has a new owner and is slated to become home to a new luxury car wash that aims to open in early 2023.
express roadrunnerwhich opened its first Lynchburg location last year, offers a variety of services, including memberships, that have proven popular with customers, general manager Daniel Cyrus said.
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“Our main focus, always, is customer service,” said Cyrus. “That starts with the technology installed in the car wash, and at the end of the day, it really ends with our people. That is what is really important to us. We want you to drive up to the lot and be greeted with a smile.”
The high-tech facility is an automated car wash, but he hopes to employ around 12 to 15 attendants to help people.
The sale of the site, located in a high-traffic corridor at 950 Orange Ave. NE, was finalized in January for $875,000. the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield—Thalhimer represented Road Runner Express in the deal.
Road Runner was the second buyer of the property. The site was initially sold to another group last year who then sold it to the new car wash.
This will be the company’s first footprint in the Roanoke market, but it hopes to continue expanding in the region.
The Orange Avenue project is now navigating the site plan and permit approval process. Their applications require slope stabilization work, a retaining wall and a new configuration that will bring the car wash closer to the road and away from the back slope.
Once the plans get the green light, Road Runner plans to begin demolishing the old building and moving forward with construction. Cyrus said the group hopes to open early next year.
The new car wash building is expected to encompass around 5,200 square feet. The site will also offer vacuum stations with auto detailing tools for those who want to fix both the interior and exterior of their cars.