MILLVILLE, NJ-Auto racing is said to be the country’s fastest growing sport in terms of popularity, and two South Jersey developers have an unusual plan to combine that growing popularity with luxury resort-type amenities. The proposed New Jersey Motorsports Park would cost an estimated $100 million to build.

NJMP is the brainchild of local developers Lee Brahin and Harvey Siegel, who have teamed up to form New Jersey Motorsports Park LLC to turn a sprawling 700-acre tract here into a mixed-use venue focusing on auto and motorcycle racing. The company would own and operate the property, which they estimate will generate some 1,500 jobs and more than $1 million a year in tax revenues.

On the motorsports side of the equation, NJMP, as proposed, would include everything from a four-mile auto racing oval, to courses for motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Also part of the package would be vehicle garage facilities, an auto museum and training facilities for racing participants.

What makes the project unusual is that Brahin and Siegel also propose to build hotels, a private clubhouse, conference facilities, restaurants and the like to turn the NJMP into what they’re calling “a luxury vacation resort.” The intent is to simultaneously stage and/or combine such events as auto races and business clients.

“We’re targeting an affluent, high-end clientele for the NJMP,” according to a spokesperson for the developer. “We want tourists to spend one or more nights here.”

According to a timeline laid out by the developers, construction would start next spring. The initial phase of the project, which would include the four-mile racing oval, some VIP suites, the garage facilities and the clubhouse, would be ready for use in the latter part of 2006. The developers project that the build-out of the site will take until 2010.

Local officials hope that the NJMP will generate ancillary development. “We are still thinking about possible spin-offs from the project,” Joseph DeRella, the city’s commissioner of public works said at the project’s unveiling.

The NJMP still has a number of regulatory hurdles to cross, including various permits. Environmental issues could be a factor, according to observers, given the fact that a 900-unit golf community here is currently being held up by legal challenges mounted by environmental groups.

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