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MILLVILLE, NJ-Construction is under way for Thunderbolt Raceway, a multi-course motorsports complex adjacent to this Cumberland County city’s municipal airport. Altogether, the three-phase project will occupy a total of approximately 700 acres in South Jersey, about halfway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

The developer is New Jersey Motorsports Park LLC, a partnership headed by Harvey Siegel, owner of the Virginia International Speedway, and Lee Brahin, operating principal of the Philadelphia-based Brahin Properties Inc. Other partners in the group include developers Joseph Savoro and R.J. Valentine.

The partners have brought in racing icon Carroll Shelby to help design the layout, said to be the first time Shelby has helped collaborate on a new motorsports facility. “Having his collaboration on the layout and conceptual design is a new high-water mark for our team,” Siegel says. “There isn’t another man who accomplished as much as Carroll, and we’re honored to have his participation in our project.

“I think this will give us a signature aspect to what we anticipate will be one of the marquee facilities in North America,” Siegel says. The project’s initial phase, slated for completion in June 2008, will include the 2.3-mile Thunderbolt race course, the two-mile Lightning course, concessions and other track-related services, two garage areas, a 14,500-sf country club-style clubhouse with swimming pool and tennis courts, a classic car gallery, VIP suites, 30 trackside condominium chalets and a one-mile karting track.

Phase two, slated for delivery in 2010, will subsequently add a driving/training school, a total of some 600 hotel rooms in multiple properties, several restaurants, another 150 chalets and a 400,000-sf industrial park. And phase three will add a ¾-mile oval track, an off-road course and training facility, an additional 200-room hotel and conference center, and a retail center. Full build-out of all three phases is slated for completion in 2015.The development site is a former sludge field along Route 670, which is also known as Buckshutem Rd.

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