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What’s up with the closed car wash on Bardstown Road? If you’ve walked or driven down the Highlands' main strip lately, you’ve probably noticed that the self-serve car wash on the southeast corner of Bardstown and Edgeland Avenue is now fenced off in preparation for demolition.

What’s up with that? Cleaning cars is out and cleaning clothes is in: Yes, a new building is going up, slated to house a dropoff outlet for Highland Cleaners, which is headquartered just down the street near Taylorsville Road. The building will also feature two residential loft-style condos and one other storefront—with a green twist. The designer, John Warmack at Design Plus Architects, has plans for incorporating traditional and contemporary elements for the site, purchased for $450,000 from Highland Car Wash, Inc., by Michael Jones’ Doric Real Estate. (Jones, the developer, also owns Highland Cleaners.) The red-brick construction will echo that of the Bardstown Eastern Building, which houses a Heine Bros. Coffee, a Sprint store and the Design Plus offices. While the style fits the Highlands landscape from an aesthetic standpoint, it will also fit it from an environmentally responsible one too: Residentially unsuitable dry cleaning chemical processes will take place off the premises, and not only do Warmack and Jones have plans for rooftop gardens, they also are investigating the benefits of pervious concrete (which absorbs oil and other chemicals that could otherwise be washed away and into streams such as Beargrass Creek), geothermal climate controls and a rooftop garden for the ultimate in locally grown produce.

Jones promises to keep construction-related sidewalk closures to a minimum. A deed restriction from 1918 mandates that the building shall not encroach on the property line along Edgeland; to preserve this division while allowing for a drive-thru dropoff away from Bardstown Road, Warmack plans to construct a curved wall. Permit acquisition is underway, with construction slated to begin before spring.

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 Photo: Courtesy Design Plus Inc. Architects

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