$2.3M car wash deal set for mall

A group of developers announced Friday evening plans to make a $2.3 million investment in a car wash franchise at Tiffin Mall, 870 W. Market St.

According to a Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. release, the group is to build a Goo Goo 3 Minute Express Wash on property at Tiffin Mall.

The project includes the purchase of real estate, construction and equipment costs and 15 new jobs could be created.

SIEDC President and CEO David Zak said the news is exciting, pointing out the $2.3 million investment is more than the $2 million spent by Key Hotel and Property Management to purchase the mall last year.

“It’s just the beginning,” he said. “Stuff is going to happen. The mall isn’t going to sit there dormant. The mall is going to get developed. This is kind of the first step.” 

The project is to be east of the retail area including Jimmy John’s and AT&T.

The car wash is the first project announced for the property since the mall was purchased last September by Toledo-based KHPM.

“It is exciting to see development moving forward in our West Market Street commercial corridor,” Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz states in the release. “These large-scale projects take time to plan and bring to fruition; this is the first step of many to come for the mall site.”

Zak said Goo Goo Car Wash has 39 outlets in five states and is owned by British IMO Car Wash Group. IMO operates 800 sites across 12 European countries and Australia, washing more than 30 million cars annually.

“This is the biggest car wash company in the world,” he said. “They are getting aggressive in the US market … and they say they want to be in Tiffin. We must have gotten someone’s attention.”

Montz said the city administration was working closely with SIEDC personnel to assist mall ownership in developing the site. 

Zak said he expects more development news, adding to what Montz had said earlier this month that one to three announcements were possible before the end of September.

“There is more where that came from,” Zak said. “The deal is not done until it’s done … but there is a lot more in the pipeline. There are a lot of discussions going on.”

Zak said companies and developers have taken notice of the “tremendous economic momentum” in Tiffin.

“It’s a great market for retail,” he said. “A number of national and regional retailers are looking to provide products and services to the residents. This can do nothing but increase the economic impact of what’s going on for development, in terms of tax revenue and quality of life.

“The more development that happens, the more people want to be here. They want to be where the cool kids are.”