Final plans for Arizona International Raceway @ Attesa, envisioned as the anchor for a “unique recreation, commerce and residential destination centered around advanced technology, motorsports and sustainability,” were submitted to Pinal County for approval Dec. 9, according to its developers and county officials.
The first component of the 2,355-acre Attesa development, the initial racetrack at “AIR” will be available for auto and motorcycle racing enthusiasts. Attesa is taking applications for club memberships, which include access to the initial racetrack and clubhouse, as well as an air park and residential options in the future.
The planned community southwest of Casa Grande, just off Interstate 8 at the Montgomery Road interchange, will have three racetrack circuits for professional and recreational racers at buildout, along with the airstrip and residential choices including an RV park, apartments, townhouses and single-family homes, Director of Marketing Bill Tybur said. Plans also call for commercial, retail and entertainment destinations and a luxury hotel, he added.
According to an economic impact study commissioned by the project’s backers from Scottsdale’s Elliott D. Pollack & Company, Attesa is projected at buildout to generate more than 13,300 full- and part-time jobs plus an additional 1,722 indirect and induced (created by direct and indirect employee spending) jobs in Pinal County upon completion. Total economic impact would average $1.8 billion per year.
But first comes Phase 1 of the first track, which Danrick Builders Managing Partner Dan Erickson said “will be 16-turns and 2.65 miles long, built to Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) standards with multiple configurations and significant elevation changes.”
He added, “Phase 2 will expand the pro circuit to 4.25 miles and add a high-performance driving school and skid pad, closed-course off-road track plus testing facilities for manufacturers, racing teams and aftermarket suppliers.”
Danrick’s other member/manager, Patrick Johnson, is the former co-owner of Phoenix International Raceway, now known as ISM Raceway.
Erickson said construction will begin as soon as the site plan gets final approval from the county, which he expects in spring 2020. The developers began the entitlement process with the county in 2016 and completed it in January 2019, obtaining permanent zoning that should prevent the track from ever being shut down due to noise complaints or other issues.
But the groundbreaking was delayed due to a moratorium placed by the state Department of Water Resources on approvals for new subdivisions in Pinal County, after it issued a report finding it would not have enough groundwater to meet demand from developments not already built or approved by the state.
Pinal County Supervisor Steve Miller, whose District 3 includes the Attesa site, said, “I’m supporting it. Pinal County is open for business,” despite some hurdles that remain with water supply and the formation of a community facilities district to pay for infrastructure.
“We don’t have a lot of tools in the toolbox, but there are some tools available, and we’re willing to work with anyone who is interested,” he said.
Miller said he thinks Attesa’s first racetrack and clubhouse will be able to obtain DWR approval as long as the land isn’t subdivided. The application with the state for an analysis of an assured 100-year water supply for the entire property has been pending for years, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, Miller will be leading a group of County stakeholders and residents over the next year to look for solutions to the water shortage being predicted by the state.