A car wash is coming to Glendale after the city’s rezoning approval — a process that the mayor and developer said took patience on the part of the developer.
Jon Zimmerman, president of Jilly’s Car Wash, said “the people of the North Shore want a car wash and need a car wash.”
“It took a lot of convincing to get the city to allow a car wash,” said Zimmerman, who lives in Whitefish Bay.
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Glendale Mayor Bryan Kennedy said the city removed car washes as a permitted use in a number of its business zones in the 1990s.
Kennedy said all car washes in Glendale belong to dealerships, except for a Mobil gas station that was allowed to rebuild theirs during renovations.
Kennedy said the Jilly’s development is on an undeveloped parcel that has been contaminated for decades.
“We have a lot that has never been developed that had some environmental concerns,” said Kennedy. “That made it undesirable property for a lot of different kinds of developments because you can’t dig there.”
“Nobody wanted to go through the process of having to remediate the soil,” he said.
But Kennedy said the Jilly’s development will protect the area from environmental contamination.
He explained that the construction will cap the contamination, serving as its own form of remediation by sealing it.
The building will be supported by helical piers — an alternative stilt-like construction method often used at sites with foundation issues.
Jilly’s Real Estate LLC bought the 1.9-acre site at 5100 N. Port Washington Road from an affiliate of Marcus Corp. for $965,000, according to state real estate records.
The land was rezoned from business and commercial district to planned unit development.
“When developers come to us and are willing to be patient, it really makes for a very pleasant experience for everybody,” said Kennedy.
Zimmerman cited Jilly’s service offerings, distance from homes and unobtrusive car queuing as more incentive for the city’s approval.
“We don’t really have a lot of car washes in the North Shore,” Kennedy said of the city’s approval. “This is a higher-end car wash that offers a lot of services. I think there is a clientele for the North Shore, certainly.”
The car wash is set to debut by summer 2021. Glendale will join Elm Grove, Pewaukee and Brookfield as the fourth site for a Jilly’s Car Wash.
In Glendale, the car wash will feature a 120-foot tunnel with MacNeil equipment and a belt conveyor. At the tunnel’s exit, customers will have access to 20 vacuums, towels and cleaning supplies for the inside of their vehicles.
Unlimited car washing plans start at $20.95 per month.