Plans Approved for Pimlico Redevelopment

Magna Entertainment Corp. was granted initial approval for a major overhaul of Pimlico that would realign the racetrack and move the grandstand across the infield.

Baltimore's Design Advisory panel gave approval after a presentation by architect Walter Lynch. According to the plans, the track would be widened and shifted so the backstretch ran nearly parallel with Rogers Ave.

Additionally, new paddock, 800 new stalls, and 500,000 square-foot clubhouse built over two phases highlight the master plan. Maryland Jockey Club president Joe DeFrancis said there is also space for a slots room in case the devices are legalized in the state.

"This is our ultimate vision of Pimlico, and the vision has enough flexibility to accommodate slots if slots are authorized," DeFrancis told the Baltimore Sun.

The project would take about 3 1/2 years. It was not revealed how much the redevelopment would cost but initial plans were for a $420-million investment.

"If slots are not authorized, it is still our goal to accomplish this redevelopment, but whether or not we would be able achieve that goal, and if we could achieve it, under what timetable we could achieve it, are questions that I just don't know the answer to right now," DeFrancis said.

No start date was announced.