Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood buys California NASCAR observe for estimated $543.7 million
The Perot family’s development company has bought a NASCAR race track east of Los Angeles that’s planned to be transformed into an industrial park.
Dallas-based Hillwood Development Co. purchased at least a portion of the 633-acre Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., for an estimated $543.7 million on Feb. 9, according to information from commercial real estate tracking service Vizzda and first reported by Commercial Observer.
Vizzda combs through deeds recorded in different counties and calculates sale prices based on taxes paid. Its sale price estimate only factors in the real estate property. The firm calculated that Hillwood took out $296.7 million in debt for the deal.
Hillwood did not respond to requests for comment.
NASCAR is shutting down the track built by Roger Penske with vague plans to build a new track in its place, along with selling off much of the surrounding property, The Associated Press reported. Auto Club Speedway President Lane Allen said the new track will not be ready for races in 2024, according to NASCAR.
NASCAR confirmed Feb. 24 that Hillwood purchased “a large part” of the property, with NASCAR retaining 89 acres for a half-mile track, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The two-mile track has hosted NASCAR racing annually since 1997. Sports Business Journal reported in March 2020 that NASCAR was working with Hillwood to sell off parts of its properties as it looked to find new revenue streams and better utilize the huge amount of real estate it owns across the country.
On Tuesday, CBRE Investment Management, an independently operated affiliate of CBRE Group Inc., said a fund it sponsored has invested in 364 acres of land at the same address as the speedway at 9300 Cherry Ave. in Fontana for the first phase of up to 6.6 million square feet of logistics space across multiple buildings called Speedway Commerce Center.
CBRE Investment Management’s announcement of the deal did not name Hillwood. The firm declined to name other parties involved in the deal.
The property near the intersection of Interstates 15 and 10, as well as the San Bernardino BNSF rail yard, is aimed at “Fortune 100-caliber” firms and e-commerce tenants.
The Inland Empire area is one of the strongest logistics markets in the nation for investors with a vacancy rate of 1.2% and rent growth of 35.4% in 2022, according to CBRE Investment Management, which added that the Fontana submarket had a vacancy rate of 0.3% and rent growth of 36.9% last year.
“Speedway Commerce Center offers an extremely rare opportunity for us to invest in what we believe is irreplaceable real estate of scale in one of the top distribution markets in the world,” Mary Lang, portfolio manager of CBRE Investment Management, said in a statement. “We will be able to provide brand new product in the most undersupplied size segment within this high-growth infill market.”