By Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Pima County’s hope for a motorsports raceway attraction has a successful bidder. The Southern Arizona Raceway LLC (SAR) has signed a ground lease for a 2.8 mile road course at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11900 S. Harrison Rd., Tucson. The project requires a $15M initial investment and will build out at up to $67M.
Designed to meet international racing standards by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the venue will draw sanctioned races from a number of organizations and crowds of 15K to 50K spectators. The project site is designed to incorporate motorsports’ pioneering “green technologies.” It’s expected to be a model for land management strategies, sustainable design and carbon-neutral technologies.
Designed by Andy Anderson Architects LLC and Norris Design, both in Tucson, the final design also incorporates safety features designed by NZ Consulting of New Zealand—a specialist in international motorsports.
Groundbreaking is planned in 18 to 24 months. SAR has been consulting with a Tucson-area general contractor during design. The developers may be interested in looking at SOQs about six months from now. Wrapping up the financing package is number one on the task list. The county expects the track to be open no later than spring 2017.
Construction, described by Anderson, will be mostly grading, infrastructure and road building. The track itself must be constructed to precision specifications in order to obtain the required FIA certification for sanctioned races.
Pima County anticipates that future development will include the Arizona International Motor Sports Museum, a racing school, motorsports driver facility with garages, and a commercial simulator.