In March of 2012, Cinnaminson could be the home of Speed Raceway, a state-of-the-art indoor kart-racing center.
Next week, Kimco Realty Corporation will testify before Cinnaminson Zoning Board officials to ask for a variance and site plan approvals to start building.
Cinnaminson Committeeman Anthony Minniti, director of economic development, said Speed Raceway was one of the original interested parties when Vanity Fair closed. Speed Raceway is slated to occupy that former building on Route 130 near Riverton Road.
The retail business is suffering in this economy, Minniti said, so it was not a feasible option for a store such as Kohl’s—a longtime rumor in town—to open here so soon.
“What this provides is more of a family entertainment option for Cinnaminson and the surrounding communities that isn’t currently available anywhere else,” Minniti said.
Speed Raceway currently operates in Denver, Colorado. According to its website, the Denver location boasts European-style kart racing, conference rooms, arcade games and a concession area. The karts are entirely indoors and operate electrically. There is a barrier system for protection and two safety operators on hand. The conference rooms in Denver are equipped with a projector, screen, flip charts and more and there are rooms for birthday parties, too.
A zoning variance is needed since a raceway facility with an arcade in a business development district is not a permitted use. The site plans, as they are now, feature an indoor racetrack with concessions, conference and meeting spaces, a retail area, and an arcade area in about 85,000 square feet of vacant space in the shopping center.
The hearing is also expected to yield answers to specifics about the business including safety concerns, building timelines and more.
Cinnaminson Zoning Officer John Marshall said officials have expressed an interest in opening in March.
“It’s a pretty intense thing,” Marshall said. “I’m pretty excited about it. There’s nothing like this anywhere in the area. It will definitely make Cinnaminson a destination.”
Marshall also said in conjunction with the application for the raceway, there will be a site plan submitted for improvements to the exterior of the entire shopping center.
It’s Minniti’s hope that when Speed Raceway would open, it would attract other businesses to make their homes in the shopping center—like at the shuttered ACME space next door.
“With the addition of this and Sonic, we’ll be able to entice another tenant to the center,” Minniti said. “It gives us that option to try to create a center of offering we don’t have.”
The impact to the township is twofold. A new tenant of this size would add a considerable amount in ratables for Cinnaminson and also, bring in more people to the township.
“It’s going to bring people to the corridor that may not have normally been there,” Minniti said. “Whenever you encourage new and unique visitors to the corridor, that serves as a magnet for other businesses.”
The hearing is scheduled during Cinnaminson’s regular zoning board meeting at 7:30, Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Cinnaminson Township Municipal Building.