of the proposed Metrolina Speed and Sports Center, planned for
Old Statesville Road at the old Metrolina Speedway in northern
Charlotte. AI DESIGN GROUP INC.
group wants to revitalize the race track at the Metrolina Tradeshow
Expo in northern Charlotte and make it the centerpiece of a $50
million amateur sports and tourism destination.
Group, based in Mooresville, said Monday that the Metrolina Speed
and Sport Center could generate 150 jobs in the Derita community.
president, said the group plans to buy 40 of Metrolina's 146 acres
and complete the initial phase by April 2010, to coincide with
the opening of NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte.
phase would include a 40,000-square-foot building with retail
and a rooftop skateboard park. The property also would include
a progressively banked asphalt track, a karting facility and a
“drifting” course on which drivers oversteer to cause cars to
lose traction and skid.
the sports complex would accommodate racing configurations from
go-karts to late-model stock cars. It would include outdoor and
indoor radio-controlled car tracks, grandstands and 4,000 parking
CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, said the project
could complement the NASCAR hall by “celebrating parts of racing
that are difficult to celebrate now.”
Monday that he is using institutional funding to help finance
the development, which he says would celebrate Metrolina's history,
embrace green technology and attract national and international
The deal is
contingent on a rezoning by the Charlotte City Council. A public
hearing and vote is planned for June 15.
James Mitchell Jr., whose District 2 includes the property located
off Old Statesville Road, supports the project and is meeting
with Derita residents to discuss it.
“It's a great
way for people who have lived there for over 40 years to feel
good about the community,” he said.
and family tourism are top priorities for the economic development
committee that I serve as vice chair of,” Mitchell said. “So this
one project helps accomplish both.”
second construction phase would include 55,000 square feet for
restaurant and food services, a 55,000-square-foot conference
center, an indoor electric karting facility, 150 hotel rooms and
30,000 square feet of offices.
president of ai Design Group Inc., project architect, said he
believes the combination of all the indoor and outdoor uses on
a single site is unique in the industry.
“This is really
all about amateur motor sports and how you get your start in the
industry,” he said.
typically raise community concerns about noise, and Jones said
the development team is addressing that issue by engaging a national
acoustic consultant with motorsports expertise.
Pistone, whose family is selling the 40 acres to the investor
group, said other activities – from gun shows to concerts – will
continue as usual on the Metrolina Tradeshow Expo grounds.