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HURON TOWNSHIP, MI- Jerry Campbell, owner of Post-It Stables in Grass Lake, MI and the chairman of Citizens Republic Bancorp, says his proposed Pinnacle Race Track has been a dream come true to continue thoroughbred racing in the state. Campbell was joined by Wayne County dignitaries recently when he broke ground on the $142 million project, which will also feature about 200,000 sf of retail development.

It wasn’t an easy ride. Magna Entertainment had proposed another $325 million racetrack in Romulus, but that project was dropped. Campbell applied for the license, and plans a thoroughbred course, though not with the slot machines that other tracks have required to stay afloat. Local and state opposition has come out in force against more “racinos.” Campbell tells GlobeSt.com that he doesn’t need slots. “I’m a horseman, not a casino guy,” he says. “Putting in slots is not the objective here, and I can make it without them.”

He and his wife, Lisa, run the board of the Pinnacle project, along with investors Jack Krasula and Michael McInerney. The company expects to have Pinnacle up for racing by July 18, though with temporary seating. Permanent seating will come next year.

Campbell says he hopes coming to the races will become another day out for families. “We hope to have some good restaurants here, and I think there’s a potential for a six-plex theater,” he says. A retail brokerage company will be hired to bring in tenants, Campbell says.

He says that he hopes to hire more than 3,100 workers for the complex, which will be at I-275 and Eureka Road, right under the flight path for Detroit Metro, the largest airport in the state. The Wayne County Commissioners reportedly sold the land to Campbell for $1 last week, with a caveat that the complex employ at least 1,100 people by 2014, or pay a penalty of $50,000 per acre.

Campbell has said that he wants to host the Michigan Derby at the facility in April of each year, a sort of preparatory race for the Kentucky Derby. If the same horse wins at both races, the owners would get a $5 million bonus, he says.

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