By Ioanna Morfessis
The Maricopa Economic Development Alliance welcomes the APEX Motor Club to our great city, because it will bring significant economic, tourism and quality of life benefits to Maricopa.
As Maricopa’s official private-public partnership for economic development, the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA) brings together the business, education and government sectors to champion strategies and solutions that foster economic growth and prosperity in the City of Maricopa.
The APEX Motor Club is exactly the kind of project that aligns with the goals and aspirations of Maricopans and the City’s Vision 2040 and Strategic Plan. This project essentially will be a country club for auto enthusiasts in Arizona and from throughout the country. The APEX Motor Club will be located on the northwest corner of Ralston Road and SR 238.
APEX Motor Club will be sited at the northwest corner of Ralston Road and SR 238, and will feature:
- A 4-mile asphalt track, a clubhouse and upscale garages for vehicles
- A separate track and facilities for racing karts, designed for children
- About 200 “condominiums” for storing vehicles
- A tuning shop and fueling station
- Dining and meeting rooms
- A fitness center and locker rooms
The Maricopa Planning and Zoning Commission approved the project’s application for a conditional land use permit on April 10, and the Maricopa City Council approval of the permit took place at its April 18 regular session.
Our appointed and elected officials were wise in their approval of the conditional land use permit for APEX because they recognize the value of the more than 400 construction jobs, private capital investment of $30 million and the additional 20 to 30 permanent jobs that the project will generate over the next five years. And this is just the beginning of the benefits that can be realized from the APEX Motor Club project over the mid and long term.
Given our very youthful stage of development, APEX represents a potentially game-changing investment for Maricopa. Not only will the project bring economic and community benefits, but the project also will increase visitors to our City. Maricopa will become part of the growing trend nationally for motorsports clubs for car enthusiasts, and our image will garner more cache in a new and exciting way.
Just as importantly, the more we can put Maricopa on the “map” – especially with visitors – the stronger business case can be made for attracting a hotel into the city.
Win-win all the way around.
But the APEX Motor Club project now is facing opposition. A referendum campaign is being mounted to oppose the APEX Motor Club on the basis that a racetrack on SR 238, surrounded by neighbors who support the use, in an area already zoned industrial, which will bring jobs and tourists to the area, should not locate in the City of Maricopa.
The owners of APEX have diligently followed all local procedures and ordinances required by the City of Maricopa. Given that the officers of the referendum committee – “Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers” – do not reside in Maricopa, nor did they necessarily approve our local zoning ordinances, we find it ironic that these outside parties want to thwart local laws and approvals.
There is no doubt that all Maricopans want to see high quality employment generating opportunities abound in our city. Growing the economy and enhancing our coveted quality of life are fundamental goals for us all. The APEX Motor Club is the kind of project that will contribute to our quality of life and economic sustainability and contribute to advancing the economic development of Maricopa.
The MEDA Board of Directors enthusiastically supports the APEX Motor Club and we encourage all Maricopans to do the same.
Ioanna Morfessis, Ph.D., is senior advisor to the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance, a nonprofit, 501(C)3 organization that was established in 2009 as the city’s economic development private-public partnership. Learn more about MEDA at www.maricopaeda.com.