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Good clean deal

Pittsburgh-based Steel City Wash expands into Valley with purchase of Coates Car Care

Staff file photo / R. Michael Semple Jake Coates, left, and his brother, James Coates, stand outside the Coates Car Care center on South Avenue in Boardman in this photo taken in August that originally appeared in Valley Business magazine. It was announced Tuesday the facility and five others owned / operated by Coates in Trumbull and Mahoning counties and western Pennsylvania were acquired by Pittsburgh-based Steel City Wash, which operates as Mr. Magic Car Wash. The local washes will continue to operate under the Coates name.

NILES — Coates Car Care — founded 65 years ago in the McKinley Heights neighborhood of Niles — has been acquired by Pittsburgh-based Steel City Wash, which operates as Mr. Magic Car Wash.

The acquisition of Coates’ locations in Niles, Howland, Cortland, Austintown and Boardman marks a “significant expansion” for the Pennsylvania company into Ohio, according to a news release Tuesday. The deal also includes a sixth Coates location in Hermitage, Pa.

Steel City Wash now operates 23 Mr. Magic Car Wash locations in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania.

“Coates Car Care has built a robust business model that aligns perfectly with ours — offering express service, innovative technology, competitive pricing and an unwavering commitment to our guests and community. We are thrilled to welcome Coates Car Care into the Mr. Magic family,” Joe Krydick, president / chief operating officer of Steel City Wash, said. “This acquisition underscores our dedication to growth and delivering exceptional car wash experiences to the Ohio market.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed in the news release.

According to the Trumbull County Auditor’s Office, sales of the Coates locations in Niles, Howland and Cortland were recorded June 5.

The Niles location, 59 Youngstown Warren Road, sold for $475,000; Howland, $875,000; and Cortland, $1 million.

In Mahoning County, auditor’s office records show the sales of locations in Austintown and Boardman were recorded Monday. The Austintown car wash sold for $705,000 and the Boardman location, the newest location, sold for $2.9 million.

ABOUT THE COMPANIES

James Coates Sr. opened the flagship center in McKinley Heights in 1959. It also includes a detail shop and oil change department.

His son, Jim, later took control of the company along with his two sons, James, chief operating officer, and Jake, vice president of operations.

It is unclear whether the father and sons will remain with Steel City Wash. James Coates referred questions to the Pittsburgh company. A representative there said she was unable to answer questions on the acquisition, but the local Coates locations will continue to operate under the Coates name.

The company opened its Austintown location in 1999; grew into Howland in 2001; and further expanded across the Pennsylvania border into Hermitage in 2003. The Cortland location opened in 2018, and the Boardman wash, which cost about $6 million to construct, opened in August 2023.

The McKinley Heights and Boardman locations are flex-serve centers; the others are express washes. Flex serve combines the express and full-service models.

“For over 65 years, my family has been committed to providing our community an excellent car wash experience. I am confident that Mr. Magic will continue to add incredible value for our guests by giving them access to a larger footprint of locations and providing outstanding service and care that they have come to expect from Coates Car Care. I am very grateful for our team’s opportunity to join an amazing company. This is an exciting time for my family, and I look

forward to watching Mr. Magic take this company to new heights,” Jim Coates said in the release.

Steel City Wash LLC was formed in 2021 through a partnership between Incline Equity Partners, a Pittsburgh-based private equity firm, and five local, family-owned car washes. Following the acquisition of Coates Car Care, the company operates car washes under the Mr. Magic Car Wash, Greensburg Auto Spa and Coates Car Care brands.

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