Though signage issues remain, an advisory panel has recommended that the Eden Prairie City Council approve the construction of a Crew Carwash at the corner of Highway 5 and County Road 4.
The 8-0 recommendation was made Monday, Nov. 13, by the Eden Prairie Planning Commission. The project will be the subject of a public hearing before the city council in the next month or two.
Why it matters: The business would fill a long-vacant corner at a busy intersection, while providing road right-of-way easements if that intersection were expanded to better accommodate traffic.
Indiana-based Crew Carwash is proposing two brick and glass buildings at that site: one for washing cars and the other for cleaning car interiors. They currently have four locations in the Twin Cities.
The southeast corner of that intersection has been vacant for years. A Chicago franchisee, Cave Enterprises, had proposed to build a new Burger King to replace one that had closed at the intersection years earlier. Those plans were approved by the city in 2021, but the restaurant was never built, and Burger King began looking for another buyer.
Coincidentally, plans for a different car wash — a Mister Car Wash — were approved by the city just last month at the other former Burger King site in Eden Prairie: across town at the corner of Flying Cloud and Prairie Center drives.
As for the Crew Carwash plan, commissioners said Monday that city staff and the developer should work to reduce the amount of signage that would be seen from the busy roadways nearby.
“There’s too much sign there,” Commissioner Frank Sherwood said about the plan.
A 35-foot-tall “tower” atop the building closest to the intersection would have signage on its east, west, and north sides, and the company also wants a 20-foot-tall pylon sign near the corner of the property.
City Planner Jeremy Barnhart said the tower signs in addition to the freestanding pylon sign would contribute to annoyance or distraction. The commission agreed, with almost all members saying they believe the pylon sign should be removed, reduced, or relocated.
“We want to work with the applicant,” said Barnhart. “We want the business to be successful. But not at the expense of the overall goals of our sign code.”
Also discussed at length was the efficiency of the County Road 4/Terrey Pine Drive intersection that would provide access to Crew Carwash, as it already does for adjacent businesses like Dairy Queen, Starbucks, and Deli Express. The car wash is expected to generate about the same level of traffic as the Burger King did, though at different times. (Company officials said their busiest time of the week for its businesses is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.)
“It is a busy corner, and I believe it’s a problematic intersection,” said Commissioner Charles Weber, but he added that Crew Carwash hasn’t caused the problem; existing businesses have.
City Engineer Carter Schulze responded that he’s confident the timing of traffic signals there can be adjusted to make traffic flow as smooth as possible.
He reminded commissioners that the city is in discussions with Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation about how the main intersection – Highway 5 at County Road 4 – can be changed or rebuilt to better handle traffic and reduce accidents. Crew Carwash has agreed to provide road right-of-way easements on their property to help make that happen.
Overall, the commission was supportive of the project.
“In general, I think it’s a good addition to the city,” said Commissioner John Kirk.
We offer several ways for our readers to provide feedback. Your comments are welcome on our social media posts (Facebook, X, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn). We also encourage Letters to the Editor; submission guidelines can be found on our Contact Us page. If you believe this story has an error or you would like to get in touch with the author, please connect with us.