Audit sees city gain with car wash HQ's move downtown

2014-04-07T00:00:00Z Audit sees city gain with car wash HQ's move downtownBy Yoohyun Jung For the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A carwash company planning to move its corporate headquarters downtown would bring with it 40 new jobs and $2.9 million in direct and indirect new tax revenues over eight years, according to an audit done for the city.

Mister Car Wash is seeking a city property tax exemption to move its corporate headquarters from unincorporated Pima County to an existing downtown-area building. To get the exemption, the company needs to show a significant net financial benefit for the city.

The company says it is moving because it has outgrown its current Foothills location at the La Paloma Corporate Center.

A city-commissioned economic analysis to be presented to the Tucson City Council, which has the final say on granting such incentives, showed the relocation would lead to 40 jobs  in the next three years and that it would “directly support about 112 jobs.”

The $2.9 million increase in tax revenues consists of $408,000 in direct sales taxes, with the rest coming from such additional sources as utility taxes from construction, taxable purchases and lease payments over the eight years of the agreement.

Mister Car Wash operates 128 carwashes and 32 lube centers in 13 states.

It is scheduled to move on June 1 into the vacant First Baptist Church educational building at 222 E. Fifth St. The three-story building, constructed in 1952, has been vacant since 2007.

The building is currently under construction to accommodate Mister Car Wash’s operations, said Michael Wattis, a commercial real estate developer in charge of the project and owner of the building.

“Mister Car Wash wants to be close to the U of A,” he said. Its goal is to recruit a young workforce.

It’s all part of the revitalization attracting new, younger generations downtown, said Camila Bekat, economic development specialist for the city.

“Aside from the additional development, they are going to be a tax generator for the city,” she added.

Yoohyun Jung is a University of Arizona journalism student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at starapprentice@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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