By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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LOVES PARK — The first two businesses coming to the former Rockford Speedway property will stick with the automotive theme.
Belle Tire and Club Car Wash have submitted plans to the city to build on the lots in front of the stadium and oval short track along the south side of Illinois 173. The Rock River Current obtained the plans under a Freedom of Information Act request. The businesses will fill the first two of seven lots in front of the Speedway.
Belle Tire, an automotive service provider and tire and wheel retailer, plans to build a 10,107-square-foot shop at the corner of Speedway Drive and Deery Drive.
Speedway and Deery drives are both newly created roads developed as part of the project to transform the 76-year-old racetrack property into a mix of businesses.
Club Car Wash plans to build a 5,393 square-foot automated car wash building with associated parking and vacuum stations on Deery Drive. The vacuum stalls will be self-serve, but the car wash will be staffed at all times with three to four employees, according to documents filed with the city.
There’s no timeline for construction or the opening of either business. First the city has to review and approve the site plans, a process that can run roughly three to five weeks.
Rockford Speedway, 9572 Forest Hills Road, operated for 76 years before holding its final event on Oct. 28. Family members previously said that pressure to develop the property had increased in recent years, and it was at a crossroads of either needing to sink millions of dollars into maintenance or sell the land to developers.
Construction crews started to set the stage for development of the outlots in front of the Speedway during the final months of the racetrack’s season. New roads — named after the Speedway and the Deery family that ran it for decades — were built to provide access to seven lots.
There are still five lots to be filled after Belle Tire and Club Car Wash open.
So far, no plans have been announced for the Speedway site itself or the other lots. The entire property spans about 50 acres.
Steve Thompson, the city’s director of community development, said they are working hand-in-hand with developer HJS Development to recruit businesses to the area.