Thirty-three days after issuing a statement confirming its intention to sell the Atlanta Dragway, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), in partnership with brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc. (JLL) officially put the installation in the market – and its list paints a darker picture than initially said.
In its December announcement, NHRA representatives assured the racing community of its vision and intention to see racing continue at the Commerce facility in Georgia under new ownership; this would of course remain in line with the NHRA’s position as a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the safety and sport of drag racing. This is because it must show an effort to sell to a well-meaning buyer to ensure that its tax-exempt status is not under scrutiny.
NHRA Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jeffrey Young said in December, âWe are a sanctioning body and we have a responsibility to preserve and protect the sport. Nationals there too. We need to invest in the Lucas Oil Raceway, in the Gainesville Raceway and in Pomona (which the NHRA leases) – drainage updates and facility improvements that we want to do on these three tracks. We will therefore use a portion of the proceeds from this sale to reinvest in these leads. “
Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc., however, takes note of redevelopment opportunities at the 318-acre site, even pointing out its proximity to a recently completed $ 2.6 billion manufacturing plant, adjacent freeways 441 and I-85, and its potential for use in industrial, residential and commercial buildings. No mention is made of existing structures or its continued potential as a runway.
Residential developments have encroached on Atlanta Dragway property in recent years, and in an article published Wednesday by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, residential development at the racetrack is likely to continue, given the explosive growth of business in the region and, in particular, the opening of the nearby South Korean SK Innovations battery plant and all the people it employs.
Dragzine has solicited comments from representatives of the NHRA and JLL and will update this story as more information becomes available.