A new, automatic car wash operated by Mister Car Wash was approved for the northwest corner of Flying Cloud and Prairie Center drives by the Eden Prairie City Council on Tuesday.
The Oct. 17 vote to OK the project – on vacant land where a Burger King restaurant once stood – was unanimous and without debate.
There’s currently a Mister Car Wash that’s been operating since 1999 just a block north of the corner site, but it’s at capacity and has poor circulation for vehicles, said Mister Car Wash representative Prabhs Matharoo. It will be shut down and sold when the new facility is ready for operation, he said.
In addition to providing a more modern operation and additional capacity, the new facility will be able to recycle at least 50% of the water used to wash cars, according to the national chain. At the current car wash, up to 10% of water is recycled.
The proposed 5,400-square-foot building would be about 1,200 square feet larger than what now exists.
Coincidentally, this could be the first of two Burger King-to-car wash transformations in Eden Prairie. A Crew Carwash is proposed for another former Burger King property in Eden Prairie, at the southeast corner of Highway 5 and County Road 4 (Eden Prairie Road). However, the car wash project has not yet been scheduled for planning commission or city council review.
Mayor Ron Case did address community concerns about the possibility of car washes being built on two prominent Eden Prairie street corners. He and city staff noted that Burger King had put limitations on what a purchaser could build on the two sites, and had ruled out food businesses.
“Sometimes people will say, ‘Two car washes!’ And right away, all their ideas come out,” Case said.
But, cities don’t typically dictate which specific businesses buy and develop sites, he pointed out.
“It’s just not within the purview of the city council or city government. It’s not what we do,” he added. “We manage development. There are landowners; they sell privately to other landowners who come in with development projects. We look at what comes in based on our code and our policies and procedures, and we approve or deny based on those set of criteria. Not whether we like it or whether we wanted something else to come in.
“Local municipal government across the U.S.,” said Case, “doesn’t have some of the powers that sometimes people expect that we do.”
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