A former Wilson soccer star builds a popular new model of car wash in the rapidly developing commercial center of Lower Town Heidelberg.
Roland Real Estate broke ground on Friday for InstaShine Car Wash at 4621 Penn Ave. across from Weaver’s Ace Hardware, just outside of Sinking Spring.
The car wash will be the second in Berks County for Roland Real Estate, owned by Andy Roland, a 2001 Wilson High School graduate and All-Berks athlete.
InstaShine Car Wash will be unique to Roland’s existing business and other car washes in the region as it will be built in the “express exterior” model currently popular with consumers.
“About 95% of all car washes built today are express exterior car washes,” explains Roland.
“Some of the differentiators at the Express remote locations – you stop at automated pay stations, select the car wash you want, and then drive the car through the tunnel yourself. Then you can either leave the property or move into a room and vacuum the interior yourself.”
Customers can also purchase an unlimited monthly membership that allows them to wash their vehicle once a day.
Roland expects InstaShine Car Wash to launch by the end of this summer with a grand launch event that will include two weeks of fundraising for local charities.
After continuing his football career at Duke University, Roland graduated and worked in the commercial real estate industry in Atlanta.
He eventually moved back to Berks with the family he started in 2016 and began investing in rental properties in the area.
That is when he bought the car wash located at 1527 N. Fifth St. in Reading.
“Honestly, I’ve never really thought about washing a car before,” Roland said. “Honestly, I’m not even someone who cares about washing my own car.
“I was just fascinated. I remember seeing it for sale and I was like, ‘What’s involved?’”
Turns out it was something in his alley.
“They’re very practical and I’m mechanical,” he said. “I like doing this sort of thing, and obviously there’s a lot of equipment and things to maintain, fix, fix and replace, which, frankly, puts a lot of people off.
“And it’s real estate-based investments. Running a car wash is more of a business than owning an apartment…that really got me to explore further. In the end I liked it and bought it.”
Not only will the new InstaShine car wash feature the latest amenities for its type, but its location in Southwest Berks will provide drivers with an added level of convenience.
The section of Route 422 west of Sinking Spring has seen increased commercial development in recent years, and a car wash is just another service that can make life easier for residents.
“A lot has happened in this area since the introduction of Ace Hardware,” said Roland. “There’s a lot of single-family homes there, and as you drive west to Conrad Weiser, Wernersville, Robsesonia, you get further and further away from other car washes.
“It used to be a pretty good commute for anyone living out there to go to Lowes or Home Depot if they needed a pack of lightbulbs, a hammer, or a two-by-four quarter. There’s a hardware store there now. And then Members 1st made land there across from Sheetz.”
However, InstaShine Car Wash could still be an attraction in its own right with its automated service and quality vacuums.
Unlike the self-service, full-service, and flex-serve car wash store models offered across the region, the Express exterior style makes the experience easier for drivers while still offering a degree of control, Roland said.
“Consumers want value, speed and convenience, and that’s what this new format really brings home,” he said.
“There’s no argument that a detailing shop is the best way to clean your car – but it’s tedious and incredibly expensive. There are just different ways to clean your car and this new one is the industry standard.”
The Face of Giving
Roland also sees InstaShine Car Wash as an opportunity to increase his and his family’s involvement in the community and to do more to give back.
As a rental home owner, Roland can and does make charitable contributions – but with a business he can make a more direct difference.
“I’ve driven past numerous banks and various places in the area where this and that basketball team or cheerleading squad will stand out with signs that say, ‘Car Wash, $10,'” he said.
“I hope they come to me. You can do the same but in our car wash.”
It’s not limited to sports either.
The Rolands support a number of local charities – he sits on the board of directors of The Salvation Army – as well as national organizations such as St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which helped his daughter Charlotte in 2020.
“It’s a big change from the rental properties I’ve been to,” Roland said. “You can of course give money at any level, but if I own a 10 unit home it’s not really the same if you’re a business and you’re involved in the community.
“I’m really looking forward to hearing different suggestions from the community and finding out what’s important to other people that I may not be aware of.”