Knoxville, Tenn. (WATE) — A motorsports park that was red flagged for Oak Ridge is getting the green light in Cumberland County. Rusty Bittle, developer of Flatrock USA, announced Friday that his “legacy project” will be built on a 773-acre tract off Interstate 40 at the Westel exit.
East Tennessee business leaders Kevin Clayton and William T. “Teddy” Phillips Jr. are also investors in the project. Clayton is the CEO of Clayton Homes. Phillips is the CEO of Phillips & Jordan, a heavy/civil infrastructure contractor headquartered in Knoxville.
“The state of Tennessee has a reputation for automotive excellence,” Bittle said. “We are leading the way on advanced transportation technologies like electric vehicles, lightweight composites and artificial intelligence. A motorsports park will help the state and (Cumberland) Plateau build an international reputation for next generation transportation technologies and become a tourism destination for automotive enthusiasts.”
The track is owned by the Plateau Park Partnership, which represents Roane, Morgan and Cumberland counties. The three counties entered into a partnership to purchase and market the site for development. The motorsports park will be designed by Tilke Engineers & Architects, who has built Mosco Raceway, Fuji International Speedway, and Atlanta Motorsports Park.
“The Plateau Park Partnership was thrilled at the prospect of Flatrock locating to our site,” said John Davis, chair of the Plateau Park Partnership. “This property sat vacant since well before 2007, we had multiple prospects but the hilly terrain and lack of utilities to support a large manufacturing facility ultimately caused those prospects to walk away. The terrain is actually an asset for Flatrock and a leisure and tourism destination that leverages our state’s strong automotive industry will provide high quality economic development for the entire region.”
The new location doubles the amount of land the track and entertainment complex was originally designed on. The destination will feature a 6-mile track that incorporates the rolling terrain of the site, hospitality suites, meeting space for training and orientation, rooftop viewing, private garages, and an FIA Certified Kart Track for public use.
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Additional amenities planned for the site include an amphitheater, winery, landmark hotel and conference center, a destination restaurant with a brewery, innovation center and museum, retail center, clubhouse with amenities, campground, adventure activities, multiple types of residential properties, farming to provide many of the needed meats and produce for on-site restaurants, helipad and an observatory on the highest point of the property.
Flatrock will break ground this year with the motorsports park projected to be completed in phases, the first as early as next summer.