From a distance, Lake Norman's newest and hands-down longest carwash looks like a sleek new airport terminal, with its glass exterior and sloped roof.
Known as an "express tunnel," the carwash is 22 feet high and 150 feet long. Six or seven cars can go through it at the same time.
"It can do 180 cars an hour," said owner Dave Cochrane, a former major league baseball player who opened Brawley Market Carwash Feb. 17.
Cochrane's concern: Motorists tooling along Brawley School Road may miss the centerpiece of his carwash complex, which also includes a separate and much smaller drive-through express wax polisher closer to the road. Some drivers may mistake the polisher for the car wash, which is understandable because a small carwash once operated there.
The polisher and a full-service area beside it, where workers will vacuum cars, clean windows and perform other services, opened March 19.
The complex also includes 13 40-horsepower vacuums that motorists can use free.
The car wash offers packages from $5 to $34.
Cochrane, 47, is a Southern California native who played with the Seattle Mariners. He's perhaps best known for having started at every position in the major leagues except pitcher and center field, where future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. held sway.
Cochrane caught Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson and played outfield beside Griffey. Also memorable was Cochrane's walk-off home run the day his son, Stephen, started to walk. Stephen, now 21, is on a baseball scholarship at Georgia Southern University.
Helping at the carwash is Cochrane's wife of 24 years, Debbie, and their daughter, Taylor, 18, who recently signed a dancing, acting and singing contract with the Wilhelmina-Evolution talent agency in Charlotte.
The family moved here after Debbie Cochrane told her husband that if she could live anywhere else, it would be on an N.C. lake. She liked "Dawson's Creek," the weekly TV series filmed at the N.C. coast. The family was also familiar with the East Coast from Dave's stops during his baseball career.
Cochrane also owns the Brawley Market, which has been completely refurbished and is now called Brawley Market Bistro.
Brawley Market Carwash: 792 Brawley School Road; open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Brawley Market Bistro is open 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, closed Sundays.