A former Wilson football star is constructing a popular new model of car wash in the rapidly developing commercial center of Lower Heidelberg Township.
Roland Real Estate broke ground Friday on InstaShine Car Wash at 4621 Penn Ave. across from Weaver’s Ace Hardware, just outside Sinking Spring.
The car wash will be the second in Berks County for Roland Real Estate, which is owned by Andy Roland, a 2001 Wilson High School grad and All-Berks athlete.
InstaShine Car Wash will be unique to Roland’s existing venture and other car washes in the area, however, in that it will be constructed in the “express exterior” model that’s currently popular with consumers.
“About 95% of all car washes built today are express exterior car washes,” Roland explained.
“Some of the differentiating features at the express exterior sites — you pull up to automated pay stations, pick the car wash you want, then you drive the car through the tunnel yourself. Then you can either choose to leave the property or pull into a space and vacuum the interior yourself.”
Customers will also be able to purchase an unlimited monthly membership which will allow them to wash their vehicle once per day.
Roland anticipates InstaShine Car Wash will launch by the end of summer this year with a grand opening event that will include two weeks of fundraisers for local charities.
Andy Roland, Wilson High School class of 2001. (Submitted)
After continuing his football career at Duke University, Roland graduated and went to work in commercial real estate in Atlanta.
He wound up moving back to Berks in 2016 with the family he started and began investing in rental properties in the area.
That’s when he wound up buying the car wash that’s located at 1527 N. Fifth St. in Reading.
“Honestly, I never really gave much thought to car washes before,” Roland said. “Frankly, I’m not even somebody that cares about washing my own car.
“I was just intrigued. I remember seeing it for sale and wondering, ‘What’s involved in that?’”
Turned out it was something right up his alley.
“They’re very hands on, and I’m mechanically inclined,” he said. “I enjoy doing that sort of thing, and obviously there’s a ton of equipment and things to maintain, fix, repair, and replace which, frankly, scares a lot of people off.
“And they’re real estate-based investments. Running a car wash is more of a business than owning apartments … so that really got me exploring it more. Ultimately, I thought it was a good fit and bought it.”
Not only will the new InstaShine Car Wash have all the latest amenities for its type, but its location will provide an added level of convenience for drivers in southwest Berks.
The stretch of Route 422 west of Sinking Spring has seen an increasing amount of commercial development in recent years, and a car wash is just one more service that can simplify residents’ lives.
“Since the Ace Hardware went in, there’s been a lot of momentum in that area,” Roland said. “You’ve got a lot of single family homes around there, and as you go west to Conrad Weiser, Wernersville, Robsesonia, you get farther and farther away from other car washes.
“Before, everybody who lives out there, if they needed a pack of lightbulbs, a hammer or a two-by-four, it was a pretty good drive to go to Lowes or Home Depot. Now there’s a hardware store right there. And then Members 1st has been developing land across from Sheetz there.”
InstaShine Car Wash could still be a draw on its own, though, with its automated service and high-quality vacuums.
As opposed to the self-serve, full service and flex-serve models of car wash business offered across the region, the express exterior style makes the experience easy for drivers while still offering a level of control, Roland said.
“The consumer wants value, speed and convenience, and that’s really what this new format drives home,” he said.
“There’s no argument a detailing shop would do the best job of cleaning your car — but it’s laborious and incredibly expensive. There’s just different ways of cleaning your car, and this new one is the industry standard.”
The face of giving
Andy Roland with his wife and three children. (Submitted)
Roland also views InstaShine Car Wash as an opportunity to increase his and his family’s community involvement and do more to give back.
As a rental property owner, Roland can and does make charitable contributions — but with a business, he’s able to make more of a direct impact.
“I’ve driven by numerous banks and different locations in the area where such-and-such basketball team or cheerleading squad are standing out with signs that say, ‘Car washes, 10 dollars,’” he said.
“I hope they come to me. They can do the same thing but at our car wash facility.”
That’s not limited to sports, either.
The Rolands support a number of local charities — he sits on the board of The Salvation Army — as well as national organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which helped his daughter, Charlotte, in 2020.
“It’s a big change from the rental real estate I’ve been in,” Roland said. “You can obviously donate money at any level, but if I own a 10-unit apartment building, it’s not really the same if you’re a business and have that involvement in the community.
“I really look forward to hearing different suggestions from the community and finding out what’s important to other people that I might not be aware of.”