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Future of Palm Beach International Raceway uncertain

Palm Beach International Raceway
Posted at 4:16 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 17:00:05-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The future of the Palm Beach International Raceway remains up in the air after the county's zoning commission pumped the brakes — at least for now — on a redevelopment plan.

For many, the raceway is a staple in the county, and some feel their fight to save it is picking up speed after a key vote this week.

Showing his support, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw penned a new letter Friday, writing that if the Palm Beach International Raceway is lost, it could mean an increase in drag racing on neighborhood streets, which could cost lives.

"I have a lot of memories there," said Madelyn Marconi.

Marconi has been going to the raceway for 25 years and has launched a campaign to save it.

"Some of those people out there are the nicest people you'd ever meet in your entire life. They'd do anything for you, so right now I want to do everything I can for them," Marconi said.

Now, she has more hope after the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission voted 7-0, declining plans to turn the raceway into an industrial park.

Portman Industrial wants to redevelop the space into four warehouse buildings, which the company said will bring in 1,500 new jobs.

But Thursday, the commission raised concerns about impacts to the environment and traffic safety.

"I think you're going to have issues out there with that amount of trucks entering the highway," said resident Mark Beatty.

Marconi and other supporters also spoke publicly at the meeting, opposing the redevelopment plans.

"We want more than anything for it to stay a raceway. I would personally help the owners bring it back up to speed and be the old moroso it used to be," Marconi said.

The owners have a contract to sell the raceway, and Portman's plans aren't done just yet.

Up next, the Board of County Commissioners now has to vote on the redevelopment plan to approve or reject the industrial park.

That vote is set for April 28.