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Renderings courtesy of Brad Bailey.
Blue Rain Express Car Wash is an all-glass building with curved sides. There are also free vacuums customers can use following the wash.
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Blue Rain Express Car Wash owner Brad Bailey would describe the business’s look as similar to a brewery.
“It’s almost similar to what you’ve been to, maybe a brewery, where you go in and you can see the process,” Bailey said. “It’s an all-glass building where you can see the car go through. We’ve got kids that come, and they’ll press their face to the glass to watch the cars go through.”
The building’s glass exterior and curved edges give Blue Rain Express Car Wash “eye appeal” and help the car wash stand out, said Bailey, who also owns a Pelham location along with his father and brother-in-law. Work began on the land of their second location on U.S. 280 at Alabama 119 in the Tattersall Park development in January.
Bailey and his family first considered opening a car wash a few years back, when they were looking for a “recession-resistant” business. They started researching options with a car wash, and in 2012, opened in Pelham. As they looked for a second location, Bailey said U.S. 280 popped out as an ideal spot.
“I live on 280 now, and knowing the 280 corridor, knowing that in that area, serving the Greystone, Highland Lakes, Shoal Creek, Chelsea, Brook Highland, Eagle Point communities, they’re all having to travel into Birmingham to get their car washed. Again, we saw a need,” Bailey said.
The second location will have a similar look to Pelham’s and will offer the same services, including car wash packages ranging from $6 to $18, free vacuums and monthly memberships that include unlimited washes.
They approached EBSCO, which owns the land for the Tattersall Park development, and received support for the idea. Their design, Bailey said, is one thing he thinks sets Blue Rain apart.
“They embraced our project after looking at it and seeing what we were going to build because car washes in the past, not saying now, but car washes in the past have had a bad stereotype,” he said, adding that people sometimes think of car washes as grimy, dirty or not kept up properly.
“If you think, that’s the way the owner keeps his wash, do I really want to send my car through that?” Bailey said. “We knew that, but after presenting our project to [EBSCO] and showing the type wash we wanted to build … they were very gracious.”
In addition to the all-glass exterior of the building, Blue Rain Car Wash also has a dual-belted conveyor system and will have a polish tunnel. The conveyor system is similar to “people movers” at the airport, where a car will drive on top of them rather than link up to the chain conveyor and rail system found at most car washes.
“You drive on, and that allows us to wash low-profile tires and not run the risk of doing any damage to rims,” Bailey said. The system also accommodates dual-wheeled trucks.
The polish tunnel is an option for after the initial wash, where wax is hand-applied and the car goes through a series of wraps and buffers to polish the car.
They plan to begin construction in February or March, Bailey said, and hope to open the car wash in August or September of this year.
“We’re excited to be in that Greystone area,” Bailey said. “We look forward to being a member of the community.”
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