Amazon is set to build two giant (combined 1 million+ sq feet) warehouses directly on the shuttered Pinnacle Race Course near Detroit. And that’s just a start. From the Detroit Free Press: Christopher Girdwood, executive director of the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Development Corp., said Amazon will use fewer than 100 acres of the site’s total 650 acres, which will leave room for future development. “This is not the only thing you are going to see at Pinnacle,” he said. “This is a large piece of property, and this project is just a small piece of it.”
Pinnacle closed in 2010 after just two years of racing. It closed, as the paper put it, because of “mounting operational losses, embarrassing water and electric shutoffs and unsuccessful efforts to create a ‘racino’ at the track with slot machines.” Which only goes to further underscore that new racetracks simply do not open in the 21st Century without being heavily subsidized (and still, only two – besides Pinnacle – have). But here’s the best part – and the definitive answer to the industry’s query of “what about the jobs?” (if tracks close) – the new-jobs projection for just the warehouses portion of the redevelopment: 1,000 – or more than Pinnacle produced when it was open. Case closed. Again.