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The former home of Denny’s restaurant in Auburn may go from serving Grand Slams to gleaming chrome, as a developer seeks to build a car wash there.

On Tuesday, July 5, the Auburn Planning Board will review a site plan application by New Potato Creek Holding, of Farmingdale, to develop the property at 176 Grant Ave. into a Tidal Wave Auto Spa. 

According to a letter of intent submitted by designer Bohler Engineering on New Potato Creek’s behalf, the car wash would employ about 15 people, with two to three on site at all times. It would be open seven days a week, typically 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but would possibly close earlier in the winter. Customers would be able to pay as they go or purchase memberships for unlimited use, and vacuums would be available to paying customers. Vacuums would be turned off when the car wash closes, and there would be no after-hours activities. Power equipment would be enclosed to reduce the noise it makes.

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The 3,620-square-foot facility would have 25 parking spaces, 20 for vacuums, and one of the spaces would be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. During redevelopment, the property’s current southern curb cut would be removed and the northern one would be moved slightly. New pole-mounted LED lights would illuminate the site, and new trees and shrubs would be planted.

Based in Thomaston, Georgia, the Tidal Wave Auto Spa chain has grown into about 100 locations, most of them in the southeastern U.S., since opening its first in 2004. The chain’s signature model is the express wash. Tidal Wave currently has no locations in New York, but according to its website, it is also opening a location in South Glens Falls as it expands into the Northeast and Midwest. 

If the planning board approves the application, the car wash would join Auto Wash and K&S Car Wash on Grant Avenue. 

The Auburn Denny’s closed due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19,” operator Feast American Diners said in a filing with the state Department of Labor in May 2020, two months after the pandemic began in the U.S. The diner-style chain, open 24/7, closed locations in the areas of Syracuse, Rochester, Watertown and the Southern Tier at that time for the same reason.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.



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