Car wash conglomerate grows footprint in Holland with new headquarters, former Pizza Hut

HOLLAND — Tommy’s Express, a national offshoot of Quality Car Wash, has broken ground on its new headquarters in Holland.

The project will consolidate operations from several existing locations for Tommy’s Express and Tommy Car Wash Systems into a single 100,000-square-foot office and 200,000-square-foot warehouse.

More: Quality Car Wash continues rapid expansion with new location, headquarters

More: Quality Car Wash planning location at former Burger King

“The design of the building is intended to show our franchise partners and employees they are the center of our business,” said Tommy’s Express CEO Alex Lemmon. “The space is all about supporting them as they deliver a world-class car wash experience.”

The expansion at Waverly Road and M-40 will create hundreds of new jobs over the next three years, the company said.

“Given the recent growth of our operations, we see an expanded headquarters as a continued commitment to our valuable team members,” said Tommy’s Express President Ryan Essen burg.

The first phase of the project, including the warehouse and production/manufacturing facilities, will take about 12-18 months to complete. The company hopes to break ground on the second phase in 2022.

Quality Car Wash began its 50-year history at 523 W. 17th St. in Holland under the ownership of Julius “Sonny” Essen burg and his brother, Jacob.

Jacob’s granddaughter and Ryan Essen burg’s sister, Mandi Brower, now helms the company, which will retain its headquarters on Lakewood Boulevard in Holland Township.

Tommy Car Wash Systems was launched in the 1990s to supply equipment across the country and around the world. Tommy’s Express was created four years ago when Brower and Essenburg paired the equipment from Tommy Car Wash Systems with the concept from Quality Car Wash. The franchise has more than 50 locations nationwide.

While Tommy’s Express uses the same equipment and layout as Quality Car Wash, the brand name remains the same along the lakeshore. Quality has expanded in its own right over the past two years, opening a new location in Grand Haven and exploring additional locations in Holland Township.

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The company received special-use permission from the Holland Township Planning Commission in January to demolish the former Burger King at 187 N. River Ave. and redevelop the site with an 11,800-square-foot building that houses exterior and interior car wash systems.

The completed facility will replace the company’s existing cleaning operation just down the road at 243 N. River Ave. — but the gas station and convenience store will remain.

“Because the design of two interior cleaning belts is new to Tommy Car Wash Systems, it’s going to take some time for drawings,” Brower said. “It’ll most likely be spring before we start construction there.”

Quality has also purchased the former Pizza Hut property at 2352 N. Park Drive in Holland Township. A special use request has been filed with the planning commission for a vehicle wash facility with detailing, similar to the plan on River Avenue.

The commission will discuss the request during its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 3.


EV Construction bringing new car washes to West Michigan

A Holland-based construction company is partnering with Quality Car Wash (QCW) and Tommy’s Express to build five new car wash locations in West Michigan.

EV Construction is building two new QCW locations in Norton Shores and Holland, as well as three Tommy’s Express locations that all are expected to open this year.

QCW Norton Shores will be on a vacant lot at 747 W. Norton Ave. and is expected to be completed in July. QCW Holland (North Park) will be at 2352 North Park Drive.

EV Construction currently is demolishing a Pizza Hut on the QCW Holland site. The construction project will begin in the spring and is expected to be completed in six months.

The cost of the projects ranges from $2 million and $2.5 million depending on on-site development and project scope.

The three Tommy’s Express car washes will be located at 9481 Cherry Valley Ave. SE, Caledonia; 6390 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids; and 8334 Byron Center Ave. SE, Byron Center.

The Caledonia location will be the first to open in April, the Cascade car wash will open in June, and the Byron Center location will open in August.

The cost for each Tommy Express construction project was not disclosed. Each of the locations features the patented Tommy Car Wash system, which includes circular arch designs and 115-foot Tommy Transporter belts.

The QCW and Tommy Express locations will be approximately 5,000 square feet, depending on the length of the tunnels. They will have two or three wash lanes depending on the site layout, but the car washes will be able to wash up to 200 cars per hour.

In addition to the express wash tunnel, each location will have vacuums and mat wash machines.

“EV Construction has proven time and again that they are a worthy partner for the construction management of our wash locations,” said Quality Car Wash COO Mandi Brouwer. “We strive to offer the best service in the industry and appreciate the dedication that the EV team puts in to assisting our success.”

Locally, EV Construction and VisionQuest, the parent company of Quality Car Wash, Tommy’s Express and Tommy Tunnel, have partnered on 17 projects, including six Quality Car Wash locations, 10 Tommy’s Express locations and the new VisionQuest headquarters on the south side of Holland. Nationally, the team has worked together on six additional projects.

“Our partnership with the VisionQuest family of companies has spanned seven years,” said John Parker, vice president of project development for EV Construction. “We have become a trusted construction partner for the organization and appreciate their confidence in our abilities. We are pleased to be working on these most recent projects and look forward to earning VisionQuest’s continued business.”


Quality Car Wash planning location at former Burger King

HOLLAND TWP. — A car wash and detailing facility may be coming to River Avenue in Holland.A special use request by Quality Car Wash was unanimously approved for the former Burger King site at 187 N. River Ave. by the Holland Township Planning Commission during its regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The property, zoned C-2 Community Commercial, is roughly 1.6 acres in size. Quality Car Wash would demolish the existing structure and parking area, redeveloping the site with a new building covering approximately 11,800 square feet.

Entry and exit points to the site would remain the same. Customers would be able to access detailing services after going through the car wash. Those services would include vacuuming, glass cleaning and towel drying. The detailing center would not offer car repairs or oil changes.

It would, however, feature Quality Car Wash’s unique design.

“A person will drive in, get out of their vehicle and the car will get on a conveyor,” said Quality Car Wash Civil Engineer Steve Witte. “The customers will wait in a designated area, and there will be two conveyors going through the detail area with machines and workers.”

The site would also include eight vacuums for customer use on the north side of the building.

The completed facility would replace the existing Quality Car Wash cleaning operation just down the road at 243 N. River Ave.

“The intention would be to close the car wash portion of that site,” Witte said. “The gas station and convenience store would remain.”

Quality Car Wash Chief Operating Officer Mandi Brower, who attended the meeting Tuesday, added a remodel might be in the cards for the existing location.

“That building is definitely tired,” she said. “It’s been well used over the years. We’d look to demolish the car wash portion and remodel the existing store.”

While the special use request has been approved by the planning commission, Quality Car Wash must now seek approval for its site plan.

“We’ll look to work with township staff on that plan,” Witte said.

There are four Quality Car Wash locations in Holland, including a site on Washington Avenue that was recently remodeled.