Tunnel O’ Suds Car Wash For thirty-nine years, Waterfront Auto Complex (formerly Tunnel “O” Suds) has been serving customers of the Mon Valley with an automatic car wash and extensive window detail and tint services. Like many businesses in the Homestead area, Waterfront Auto Complex had difficulty surviving the closing of the Homestead Steel Works that eliminated a large market overnight!
“We used to have cars using Sixth Street as a bypass because it was so much easier than facing the traffic on Eighth Avenue,” said James A. Laux, President of T.O.S. Inc, corporate parent of Waterfront Auto Complex. “Once the mills closed, we saw a drastic change in the number of cars coming through our wash.”
The family-run business changed gears and added a window tint and detail shop to the already well-known car wash. This helped ease the pain of the reduction in traffic, but only offset a downward trend.
Fortunes changed with the addition of The Waterfront, which brings 20,000 cars a day to the Homestead area. Prompted by the huge influx of people to the area and investments made by Allegheny County as part of a multi-phased The Avenues project, Laux made a push to bring people back to his business. Investing thousands of Penzoil / Quaker State Oil Change & Lube Express dollars in the acquisition and renovation of buildings on Sixth Avenue, Laux upgraded his window tint to computerized state of the art and detail facilities and added a new full-service Penzoil oil change and lube.
“I really see an opportunity for growth in the Homestead area, not just for The Waterfront, but all of the businesses and neighborhoods, said Laux. Im not the only one making an investment in this community. As more people see the opportunity, the Mon Valley will do nothing but grow!”