Speedway Motorsports Agrees to Sell 66 Acres to Mountaineer Land Group
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 3, 2004) - Officials of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE:TRK) and Mountaineer Land Group announced today that SMI has agreed to sell a 66-acre parcel of property, located near Lowe's Motor Speedway, to the West Virginia-based real estate development company.
The closing is scheduled for Friday.
Located five-eighths of a mile south of the speedway on U.S. Highway 29, SMI purchased the property in July 2003.
Greg A. Mascaro, managing partner for Mountaineer Land Group, said the purchase of the 66 acres is part of the company's strategic land acquisition in the area, which includes plans for more than 1,000 acres of multi-use development between Highway 49 in Harrisburg and Highway 29. The development will utilize property located in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties.
The land has been the center of controversy during recent weeks. In May, the speedway cleared a portion of the property of small trees, brush and scrub near the entrance area along Highway 29. City of Charlotte officials have asked the speedway to replant 166 trees in the area cleared.
O. Bruton Smith, chairman of SMI, said the property was originally purchased to expand the speedway's parking for NASCAR race events as part of its on-going fan-friendly improvements. Smith said the company will now focus its attention to developing more parking areas closer to the track, which are located in Cabarrus County.
"Our intent was to utilize this property to benefit our race fans and provide easy access parking," said Smith. "These fans provide more than $400 million annually in economic benefit to the local economy, including businesses and governments in Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte. Never in my wildest dreams did I think our attempted use of this property for our fans would develop into such a negative issue."
Smith added that he hopes city and county leaders will work with future development with an eye toward economic benefit for the area.
"I do business in several major cities across the country," said Smith, who also serves as chairman of Sonic Automotive, the second largest automotive dealership operator in the United States. "I encourage the City of Charlotte to take a hard look at what Houston and other cities are doing in regards to economic zoning."
Mascaro said formal plans for the property's development will be disclosed in the near future.