Chesterfield officials discuss future of Southside Speedway

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 8:25 PM EDT
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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Southside Speedway in Chesterfield is on track toward a new era as county leaders begin to develop their vision for the site.

During the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors meeting on June 23, the board approved the transfer of $5 million to the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority, which will be used to purchase the former speedway at Genito Road and Oak Lake Boulevard.

Jake Elder, a project manager with the Chesterfield County Economic Development Authority, says the root of the project will begin with a vision developed by county leaders from other departments.

Elder says based on this vision, the 47-acre site will need to go through a rezoning process.

“Which will involve official public hearings at the planning commission and board of supervisors level,” Elder said. “There will also be many citizen input meetings.”

Elder says the former Southside Speedway was one of the first tourism destinations in Chesterfield County in the 1950s. Elder says their vision is to use this property to enhance experiences for River City Sportsplex, which attracts thousands of visitors into the county.

“The most recent study found that River City Sportsplex had an economic impact of over $50 million to the region,” Elder said. “It’s important to capitalize on the investment that was made in River City Sportsplex and to continue to grow that asset for the county.”

Elder believes the speedway property could incorporate a mix of uses for Sportsplex visitors and residents living near the site.

“It certainly can be retail destinations for somebody to come and shop at as they’re coming to a tournament at the facility,” he said. “It can be additional sports or recreational venues. None of that has been decided at this point.”

Even though no plan is set in stone yet, Elder says the community will have their voices heard.

“That is a process that will rely heavily on citizen involvement and analyzing what the best return of investment is on the property to continue to attract visitors to this area,” he said.

Elder also says one of their key goals is to remember Southside Speedway’s history.

The EDA will work with the county’s planning department, parks and recreation department, planning commission and board of supervisors to develop a master plan for the property.

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