BLOOMFIELD — The proposed home of a NASCAR racetrack will instead become a 200-acre industrial park after strong opposition from its neighbors killed the sports venue idea.
New Jersey-based Matrix Development Group will start construction this month on the first of four buildings which will make up the Matrix Global Logistics Park at a former oil tank storage facility off Gulf Avenue in Bloomfield.
"You can't have a jobs coast on Staten Island without jobs, and Matrix is the first real step to bringing additional jobs to Staten Island," said Borough President James Oddo, who was at Tuesday's announcement of development.
"What's happening here will improve the lives of lots of Staten Islanders."
The first 975,000-square-foot building is set to open in the spring of next year and will focus on the needs of distribution and warehousing companies, said Joseph Taylor, president and CEO of Matrix.
"Our anticipation is the leasing of these buildings to large, retail oriented distributors and logistics companies that will seek the same-day delivery of a lot of products in the five boroughs," said Taylor.
"The market for logistics is one of the strongest real estate sub-markets in this region, if not the country, and we believe it's overdue here in Staten Island."
The 671-acre site was originally proposed to house a 82,500-seat NASCAR racetrack after International Speedway Corporation — which owns NASCAR — bought the space in 2004 for $100 million, the New York Times reported.
The NASCAR track idea was immediately met with opposition from neighbors who were concerned about potential noise and traffic problems on race days, the Gotham Gazette reported.
Eventually, the International Speedway Corporation backed out of the project and sold the site in 2007. It was sold again to Staten Island Marine Development in 2010, the New York Times reported.
Earlier this year, Staten Island Marine Development sold 200-acres of the site to Matrix.
"I've had some personal history with this property and it hasn't always been positive," said Oddo, who fought against the NASCAR plans as a city councilman.
"To see a professional, first grade operation now own it and to deal with them on what seems like a weekly basis has been really refreshing and my staff and I are committed to seeing this through."
Matrix estimates the project will bring more than 3,000 jobs to the borough — 1,800 permanent and 1,400 construction — and plans to install steel for the first building at the beginning of next year.