Feb 20, 2023

Partner Profile: Coldwater Capital

By Focus Engineering In Expertise, Partnership No comments

A real estate investment and development firm, Coldwater Capital got its start in 2016. Building on their entrepreneurial successes, the owners pursued funding startups and quickly found a niche. Rather than paying with quarters for a car wash, Coldwater Capital saw the benefit of a mobile payment service. They developed the Coinless app and now sell the software to other car washes globally. 

After identifying car washes as an underserved and emerging market, Coldwater Capital determined they wanted to build their own car wash portfolio. They began acquiring car washes in Utah, Georgia, and Florida, and after selling a portfolio of locations last year, Coldwater Capital has now set its sights on having 50 operating car washes in the next five years. You’ll find seven of their express washes currently open in Utah and Pennsylvania. By the end of this year, five more will be operating with 12 on the docket to open throughout Utah, Pennsylvania, and Maryland in 2024. 

Members of the Shiny Shell Wash Club not only enjoy unlimited car washes, but also a number of amenities that make caring for your car a premium experience. Cameras capture a vehicle’s license plate number for ease of entry. While kids enjoy the playground and tunnel spray gun, the adults take advantage of free soda, microfiber towels, spray bottles, vacuums, and compressed air to detail a vehicle. Sparing no expense in their tunnel equipment, Shiny Shell leaves customers driving clean and happy.

While Coldwater Capital plans on owning and operating car washes for the long term, they’ve also developed multi-family, storage, resort, and office projects. “With operations on one side and development on the other, we will always have an operations team to run the car washes,” says Development Manager Mitch Morris. “What this means is our development team will likely expand to take on other assets in addition to our continual car wash growth.”

Mitch first began working with FOCUS in April 2022. Coldwater Capital’s President of Development had worked for Ivory Homes for several years, and after joining Coldwater, he recommended using FOCUS for civil engineering and surveying. 

Developing the site plan for a car wash requires thoughtful design to deliver a smooth site flow for vehicles that support Utahns’ outdoor lifestyles. For example, the Shiny Shell in West Valley features a “magic carpet” style conveyor that accommodates tires of all sizes, including dually trucks. “It’s also important to make sure our clients have wide enough pay lanes and parking stalls,” Mitch explains. “I can count the number of ‘magic carpet’ conveyors in Utah on one hand. We’re constantly innovating and staying ahead of the other guys to deliver our uniquely premium wash experience.”

Being “community focused” is a Coldwater company value, and it extends to mindful water conservation in a state experiencing unprecedented drought. Shiny Shell harvests, treats, and uses rainwater in car washes. They also reclaim, recycle, and reuse about 70% of their water; FOCUS helped tie in all those utilities to the system. 

“Whether it’s surveys, concepts, site plans, or redline comments, we appreciate their communication and timeliness,” Mitch describes. “While it’s only been since April, we’ve collaborated with FOCUS on over 20 car wash projects in Utah. Seven are finishing entitlements and are set to break ground this year with many more to come in great part due to our partnership with FOCUS.”

Mitch also appreciates the satisfaction survey calls he receives to measure the responsiveness, quality, and accuracy of our deliverables and service. “FOCUS strives to be the best they can for their clients and this way of doing business is definitely something we share,” he shares. He was impressed not only with the survey, but also with how FOCUS applied the feedback given. 

The feedback we regularly seek is invaluable to delivering better service. Through active listening, we incorporate the responses into our projects and processes to drive better outcomes for our clients, employees, and partners.