Future of Chicagoland Speedway Still Unknown

Decision on Chicagoland Speedway To Be Delayed, Again

NASCAR NASCAR Cup Series

The fate of land around Chicagoland Speedway and a final plat subdividing the property in a manner that cuts into the racetrack will wait, at least, another month as the City of Joliet Plan Commission is scheduled to table the matter on Thursday.

The meeting agenda states, “The petitioner, Hillwood Investments Partners, are requesting that the Preliminary and Final Plats for Chicagoland Speedway Subdivision, be tabled to the August 20th Plan Commission Meeting.  The tabling is being requested in order to finalize the subdivision plats and development plans in the area. Staff is in favor of this request.”

As first reported last month by Kickin’ the Tires, a plat filed with the commission and dated April 8, 2020, shows the racetrack being sliced essentially in half diagonally from Turn 2 across to about one-third of the way through the tri-oval and then north to W. Laraway Road. From there, the boundary line runs about a mile east along E. Laraway Road to Wauponsee Glacial Trail and then due south to W. Schweizer Road. The boundary line then goes west along W. Schweizer Road for approximately one half-mile before cutting north to the track’s outer perimeter, then west for about 200-feet and north again to Turn 2. There is also a 600-foot land barrier around the entire boundary of the proposed subdivision.

“The approval of the Preliminary Plat and the Unit 1 Final Plat for Chicagoland Speedway Subdivision will allow a future multi-lot industrial park,” states Plan Commission documents obtained by Kickin’ the Tires. “The preliminary plat is made up of 4 buildable lots, 1 stormwater detention lot, a private road (Victory Lane extension) lot and three outlots that will not be developed upon. The final plat consists of one buildable lot (Lot 1) consisting of 76.5 acres and the private road lot (Lot 2). Four warehousing/distribution buildings of various sizes are proposed for Lots 1, 3, 4 and 6, which range from 17.6 to 76.3 acres. There are no known users for the warehouses as of the writing of this staff report. Access to all lots within the development will be from Laraway Road onto Victory Lane.”

Last month, Hillwood Investments Partners, which represents the track’s owner NASCAR Enterprises LLC (formerly International Speedway Corporation), requested an extension that delayed the vote to approve the changes. Now, Hillwood – a Perot Company – is seeking another delay, this time until August 20.

Early speculation on the subdivision plat has led some to wonder if NASCAR would divest itself of Chicagoland Speedway or eventually convert the property into an industrial warehouse space – something Hillwood is known for. But Michael Schwarz, Joliet’s Director of the city’s Planning Commission, said, the track is supposed to stay intact.

“Yes, the track would remain. The proposed sale only involves accessory parking on the east side of the property,” Schwarz said. “I have attached the staff report which was presented to the Joliet Plan Commission at their meeting on April 16. The staff report provides some background.  At the request of the applicant, the Plan Commission voted to table the subdivision request to their meeting on July 16. Under the proposal, 82.3 acres which is presently an accessory parking area would be sold to Hillwood Investment Properties for future warehouse development. Chicagoland Speedway LLC would own the remaining balance of racetrack property.”

The Thursday meeting is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. During the previous meeting, there was someone on the telephone wishing to speak on the agenda item.

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