You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

After the Dexter tornado: Village Car Wash & Laundry to be rebuilt this summer

By Laura Blodgett


The Village Car Wash & Laundry has been closed since it was damaged by the tornado that swept through Dexter in March, but the owners are ready to replace both buildings and hope to reopen this fall.

Laura Blodgett | For

The Village Car Wash & Laundry Inc. on Second Street in Dexter that was leveled by the tornado that swept through town in March - causing $9 million in damage across the area - is close to being rebuilt.

The owners are nearly finished with the insurance process, and are taking construction bids while waiting for plan approval from the county.

Their hope is to break ground on the two new buildings in August and open sometime this fall. Both the car wash and laundry have been shut down since the tornado.

“Both buildings were demolished last weekend,” said Cheryl Caffrey, who has co-owned the business for seven years with her husband, Peter Caffrey, along with Greg Ash, Alan Hale and their wives.

When the tornado hit, it ripped off the roof of the laundromat in two pieces and threw it at the self-serve car wash, taking out a wall of the car wash. All that was left standing of the laundromat was the bathroom.

The new laundromat will be expanded slightly to comply with the American with Disabilities Act. The bathroom will be made larger and the machines will be located along the walls instead of the center of the room for better handicap access. The laundromat machinery survived the tornado. All of the other features will remain the same, including the square footage of both buildings. The car wash will return to five self-service bays. The buildings will once again be made of cement block, though Caffrey says the owners may select a more updated color or go with a textured block.


Laura Blodgett | For

For the most part, Caffrey has gotten over the shock of the tornado and is looking forward to the next chapter of the business.

“Once they tore it down, that was another shock,” said Caffrey. “Once you got over that, it’s kind of exciting to see how it’s all going to go up and what it will look like when it’s done.”

Caffrey wants to thank the landscaping company that donated and planted new trees around the building site. “People have been great,” said Caffrey. “We had a person stop by yesterday to see how things are going. It’s nice to know people in the community want to get it up and running as soon as we can. “One thing is for sure,” she adds with a laugh. “There’s a lot more dirty laundry in the city.”



Sat, Jul 7, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

I bet this will be up and running before our home is done. We were one of the least damaged homes in Orchard River Hills and are STILL waiting 4 months later to get our work completed. Don't understand what the hold up is..we have our insurance money, have a builder and are waiting , and waiting and waiting. Not only that we are hearing of the shabby work some of our neighbors have had done on their homes.... by other builders.....nothing like taking advantage of those that have been thru enough.

Ann English

Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

The washing machines and dryers at Super Suds Coin Laundry on Jackson Road were all along a wall instead of in the middle area, with VIDEO GAMES in the middle. Does this laundromat offer anything to customers for occupying their waiting time? It certainly doesn't have to be something that uses electricity, as video games do.


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

I used the car wash many times with excellent results. We'd use the giant washers for rugs and blankets. I'm glad they're rebuilding.


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

good for them.make it better


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

Six owners? Egads.


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

Never used the laundry mat, but tried the car wash 3 times since moving to dexter. On the first visit, it ate my money without a wash. The second time there was a leak between the sprayer and the hose, making anyone who used it get all wet. On the third time, it ate my quarters again - Poor maintenance. Hope the owner will take more pride in their business in the future. I certainly won't give it another try.


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

This is great news for Dexter. We were wondering if they would rebuild and are so glad they will. I was sorry for the folks who were forced to drive to other towns to wash their clothes. Not everyone has the convenience of a washer and dryer at home. We use the car wash a lot, both for our cars and our motorcycles. Thanks for rebuilding!


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

I have used this laundromat a few times in the past. Yes, it needed updating, but the convenience fair outweighed the negatives (i.e., driving to Ann Arbor or Chelsea). The story says the equipment "survived" the tornado. Does that mean the washers and dryers will not be replaced with new ones?? It would be nice to be able to start fresh with everything. Good luck to the owners!! I am glad they are choosing to rebuild!

Ann English

Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

I think I do remember seeing recognizable front-loading washing machines in photos from the Dexter tornado.


Fri, Jul 6, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

It needed rebuilding 15 years ago! Hopefully they will put in functioning machinery this time.