Deco building may gain car wash

Staff Writer

The owners of a parking garage will request a zoning change to allow it to provide car-washing services on its lower level.

The owners of the Deco Arts building, 5500 S. Lake Park Ave., will submit a request to rezone the property from B3-5 to C2-5 which attorney Sara K. Barnes said would only add the ability to place a car wash business to the basement of the building.

Dwayne Lawrence and Jeffrey Meyer presented the plan to a Fifth Ward meeting Thursday night at the Catholic Theological Union, 5416 S. Cornell Ave.

Currently the basement of the Deco Arts Building has space to park 30 to 35 cars. Lawrence and Meyers would remove those parking spaces and use the area to hand wash and detail 20 to 25 cars per day, primarily for regular customers of the parking garage.

There are no plans to do construction or alter traffic patterns. Customers would enter and exit through the existing curb cuts.

When the zoning code was amended in 2004, Barnes said, car washes were reclassified as a commercial enterprise instead of a business enterprise. The current and requested zoning classifications are virtually the same, she said, except one allows for car washes and the other does not.

The car wash would expect to open, if all goes well, by late December or early January and would hire a minimum of four people to begin with. The focus would be on hiring locally because a car wash business depends heavily on the weather and they would need a local resident who can arrive quickly.