is getting a much-needed facelift this year—one the owner says will make it "better, faster and cheaper" for customers.
The car wash, located at 1174 State St., was closed and fenced off to the public last week in anticipation of a multi-million dollar makeover.
"We're changing the whole business model by doubling the size of the complex and cutting the price for a wash" said Bill Klump, owner of Lemont Express Car Wash.
Klump said current facility will be scrapped in the coming weeks and replaced with a 4,800-square-foot complex that will include a 150-foot automatic wash tunnel (twice the current size), state-of-the-art equipment and a 25-horsepower central vacuum that will be free for customers.
Construction is expected to take between 16 and 18 weeks.
"At this point, the equipment is out-dated and in need of repair," he said. "If you don't update the equipment, the washes lack in quality and won't be as efficient. We're looking to correct that."
When the new facility opens, washes will range from $3 to $12. The basic wash will be less than half the previous cost ($7), and will only take three minutes to complete, Klump said.
"The wash will be better, faster and cheaper, which is necessary for the business to survive," he said.
Lemont Express Car Wash opened in 1987. Its last makeover came in 1999, when Klump purchased the business and "completely gutted" the old facility.
"It's about time for another major renovation," he said.
Klump also owns Express Car Wash locations in Brookfield, Hickory Hills, Plainfield and Romeoville. The renovations in Lemont will be similar to those that were completed in Brookfield in 2010, he said.
Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves commended Klump for reinvesting in his business.
"It's great to see our local business owners taking the time and energy to upgrade their facilities," Reaves said. "The fact that he's willing to invest so much just speaks to how Lemont is a great place to live, work and own a business."
Klump, who lives in Darien with his wife and two sons, considers Lemont his "hometown car wash."
"The village has been great to work with," he said. "They're extremely supportive of local businesses, which is great when you're trying to do a major renovation."
Klump said construction is expected to be completed by November.
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