Magna chairman Frank Stronach, plans racetrack in Ocala, Florida.

Magna chairman Frank Stronach, plans racetrack in Ocala, Florida.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Stronach Buys Ocala Property Amid Racetrack Talk

The recent sale of 10 residential lots has lead to further speculation that Magna Entertainment may indeed build a Thoroughbred racetrack in Marion County, Fla.

Realtor Don Collins of Ocala-based International Properties brokered the deal between seven land owners and Delaware Inc., a company owned by Magna chairman Frank Stronach.

"It's my understanding the lots were purchased to widen the roadway for allowing access to the more than 400 acres that may be used as a potential site for a racetrack," Collins said.

Though talk of a racetrack continues to remain a source of speculation, community leaders see the project as viable.

"There's been very little progress to this point," said Mike Amsden, president of the Ocala City Council. "We need additional information. We'll be able to tell more once we see the conceptual site plans. We understand they want to make the facility a family-oriented track, to promote it as a tourist

In the event the project moves forward, Magna will have to overcome a number of hurdles.

"I'm sure they're trying to make their plans as concrete as possible before presenting their proposal before the city," Ocala planning director Tye Chighizola said. "There may be some development of regional impact issues. The site for the proposed track is in the county but inside the city service area."