By Jessica Mathews /

Conceptual plans have been released for a large multi-purpose motorsports destination for automotive enthusiasts in the City of Howell.

The Motorsports Gateway project is said to have been five years in the making and comes from father-son team Jordan and Mark Dick. They sold their previous business, JD Racing Indoor Karting, to focus on the Motorsports Gateway project.

The Howell City Council earlier approved an agreement with JD Racing for the Highland-Howell property that totals 216-acres along I-96 between Lucy Road and Michigan Avenue, as well as two additional parcels to the north. Extensive negotiations took place that resulted in the 24-month lease agreement, which would transition into a purchase agreement if certain milestones are met.

In July, Council unanimously approved a motion to amend the agreement and extend the expiration date of the inspection period from September 30th for up to three separate periods of 30 days each for a maximum extension of 90 days.

At a recent Council meeting, City Manager Erv Suida provided an update on the project. Suida said it’s very exciting and a website was recently unveiled that features a conceptual preliminary plan and other information. He noted that staff has been working hard with them and communicate weekly – adding it’s a very unique development and he encouraged Council and others to check out the website –

The 270-acre project features an internationally developed driving circuit. The track is said to be a 2.2-mile European-inspired road course – “making it the longest private driving circuit in Michigan” and a multi-configurable design allows for two circuits to operate simultaneously.

The conceptual site plan shows an automotive innovation park, private garage condos, an entertainment district, dynamic driving and event space, and a multi-purpose pit lane building.

The link to the new website is provided.