Construction began Tuesday on the Wash Barn car wash at 3028 Canton Road, in front of Shaw Park near Chance Drive. The site previously was a car wash of a different name.
Robbie Stewart bought the half-acre property out of foreclosure.
Stewart says he expects the renovation to take 60 days and will hire five people initially of the 10 he expects to employ for the business. He says he plans to do a lot of landscaping to make the car wash an attractive business.
“I enjoy going in and revitalizing a property,” Stewart said. “I may be the first one, but it starts a chain reaction. Hopefully what I’m doing will ignite a fire on Canton Road.”
Stewart and two partners own 10 locations, including a Wash Barn on Veterans Parkway in Mableton.
JoAnn Birrell, who represents northeast Cobb on the county commission, is happy to see a business taking advantage of the redevelopment program.
“The Wash Barn is the first redevelopment site identified on the list to begin construction, and we are so excited to see improvements already,” she said.
Birrell said the 13 sites are eligible for tax incentives.
Stewart said that although he did meet with Michael Hughes, the county’s economic development director, he elected not to take the tax incentives.
“Some of the things offered weren’t great for us,” Stewart said. He purchased the property from Utah-based Zion Bank.
The redevelopment sites include empty stores, gas stations, buildings, restaurants and warehouses, many of which are overgrown and in some cases boarded up.
Nearby is an under-construction Walmart Neighborhood Market, at the corner of Canton and Blackwell roads.
“With the Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Blackwell Square, this will revitalize this shopping center as well as the entire area on Canton Road,” Birrell said.
In January, Birrell formed a Canton Road citizen committee that includes members Andy Campbell of Columbia Properties; Carol Brown of Canton Road Neighbors; Chuck Martin of Arylessence; Clarice Spica of Bay Breeze restaurant; Don Westbrook of Elon Salon; Frank Wigington of Frank Wigington Landscape; Mike Wickes of Community Bank of the South; and Blackwell Elementary School Principal Dr. Maurine Kozol.
The committee, now known as the Canton Road Redevelopment Foundation, recently applied for nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service to be eligible to receive grant money.
On Oct. 11, the committee will host a reception to showcase the properties and incentives from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bay Breeze restaurant, 2418 Canton Road. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (770) 528-3317.