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November 7, 2016

First-time real estate investors buy Farmingdale car wash

Courtesy/ Magnusson Balfour Trailside Car Wash at 398 Maine Ave., also known as Route 201, in Farmingdale. Thomas and Kimberly Scott from Tidal Investments bought the property for $300,000 in a deal that closed Sept. 28.
Courtesy/ Magnusson Balfour
Courtesy/ Magnusson Balfour The retail building separate from the car wash.

FARMINGDALE — A Brunswick couple making a first-time real estate investment settled on the purchase of a high-profile car wash. 

Trailside Car Wash is just outside of Augusta and could be positioned to draw from the thousands of commuters who travel between the state’s capital and its surrounding bedroom communities. The facility is comprised of one automatic and three self-serve bays plus coin-op vacuums. The property, on three-quarters of an acre, includes a separate retail building that will provide rental income.

Thomas and Kimberly Scott from Tidal Investments bought the property for $300,000 in a deal that closed Sept. 28. Dennis Wheelock of Magnusson Balfour Commercial & Business Brokers brokered the deal for both the buyer and seller.

“They were looking for an opportunity to have a business that could somewhat run itself and diversify their portfolio,” said Wheelock. One of the great advantages of the carwash is its automatic bay, which can run 24/7 without requiring a full-time attendant, according to Wheelock.

The Scotts have lived in Brunswick for 10 years and were in the market for an investment.

“I always thought a car wash would be a good idea,” Thomas Scott told Mainebiz. “It seems to be in a good location, and we got a fair price on it.”

The location is on a busy corridor that runs from Brunswick to Jackman. And Augusta is hotspot central, according to Wheelock.

“Augusta is the local area employment center. Its population is 18,000-plus but increases to 40,000-plus during the workweek with the addition of state workers,” said Wheelock. “So on the west shore of the Kennebec River, you’ve got this corridor for everybody south of Augusta — Hallowell, Farmingdale, Gardiner are all bedroom communities for Augusta — heading to work and then back home each day. Roughly 13,800 cars go by [the car wash] every day.”

The car wash, which dates to 1986, has been in continuous operation, said Wheelock. The property is in good shape and the seller was simply looking to shed this item from his portfolio in order to concentrate on his other businesses, according to Wheelock.

“The carwash was one of the last businesses he bought, and he didn’t have any time to work with all of his businesses, so he chose to sell this one,” said Wheelock.

Upgrades by the seller includes $228,000 worth of equipment and building improvements, including a new roof.

Scott said he and his wife are looking at whether they’ll do any further upgrades.

“The separate retail building is in need of a new tenant, but has generally been occupied over the years,” said Wheelock.

The most recent tenant, who moved out-of-state mid-summer, ran a tattoo parlor. Other tenants have included U.S. Cellular, which outgrew the space.

“So it’s a great little spot for an entrepreneur or for someone who wants to start a business,” Wheelock said. “It’s such a high-visibility spot.”


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