The future of the Palm Beach International Raceway is still very much unclear after a new development this week.
Portman Industrial has sought to purchase and redevelop the space into four warehouse buildings, which the company said would bring in 1,500 new jobs.
However, a South Florida Water Management document filed Monday shows that Portman withdrew its application for permits.
The company was seeking to buy the 174 acres of land along Beeline Highway in northern Palm Beach County where the raceway has existed for decades.
That plan hit a roadblock in April after the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission voted 7-0 to prohibit the raceway from being turned into an industrial park. Commissioners raised concerns about impacts on the environment and traffic safety.
April 12, 2022
Palm Beach International Raceway, formerly known as Moroso Motorsports Park, looks set to be demolished. Its owner has already signed a contract to sell the property to Portman Industrial, which plans to retool the site into an industrial park.
Portman Industrial says the industrial park would include four warehouse buildings totaling 2.1 million square feet. The company said the redevelopment would bring in 1,500 new jobs at an average yearly salary of $54,000.
“The proposal says it’ll create 1,500 jobs. That pales in comparison to what we’ll lose in small businesses,” said Kevin Coyle.
“This is more than just a place for people to go fast,” said Tyler Glock. “This kind of place changes lives.”
Locals in Palm Beach County are putting up a strong fight to prevent the sale and there’s another buyer allegedly interested in keeping the track open, though it doesn’t look good for the facility as it stands.
As local news station WPBF reports, locals are not taking it lightly—including some big names in racing. At an advisory planning meeting late last week, more than 100 citizens voiced their opposition to the plan. Some said the new industrial park would cause excessive traffic, while others were worried that the loss of the racetrack would push car enthusiasts from the controlled environment of PBIR onto public streets.
The final vote on whether to approve the redevelopment plan is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on April 28. If that vote fails, the future for the property is unclear.