Go kart plans derailed

COM-Go Kart Track 1

The plans of California-based K1 Speed Inc.’s to create an electric go-kart racing center in the Saxony Corporate Campus hit a speed bump when the Noblesville Plan Commission unanimously voted to send the proposal to the Noblesville City Council with an unfavorable recommendation on Aug. 19.

K1 is seeking permission to transform the 71,830-square-foot vacant industrial building that formerly housed Helmer Labs at 17395 Bergen Blvd. into a high-tech indoor track. Asst. Planning Director Andy Wert said the property would not change structurally on the outside but non-weight bearing walls would be demolished on the inside.

Commissioner Pat Reed liked K1’s proposal and the idea of having the business come to Noblesville; however, he was not keen on the business’s proposed location.

“What message are we sending about the Corporate Campus?” he asked. “That’s a very good building, more valuable than what is needed for a go kart (center). I don’t think this building in the Corporate Campus is where it needs to be.”

“I thought the intent was [to attract] high-paying jobs,” said Gretchen Hanes, plan commission vice president.

K1 owner David Danglard said his company is eyeing Noblesville to become its 18th location in the United States. All of the vehicles are 100-percent electric and the track, which includes a live scoring system, is available for 6-year-olds to adults.

“But we attract corporate business,” Danglard said, adding his business is at least 40-percent corporate use. “They come back on their own or with their family.”

K1 looked at three different places in Indiana for a new location.

“We didn’t like the area as much as we like it in Noblesville,” he said.

Danglard anticipates employing 40 to 45 employees at the location. He said the karts contain no oil or flammable materials and have minimal noise pollution. K1 has other industrial park locations, specifically citing Carlsbad and Irvine, Calif.

“We attract high clientele – high income and corporate businesses. It is not a cheap activity,” he said. “We’ve never had issues with people driving by at night or hanging out.”

The Noblesville Common Council is expected to discuss the proposal at its Aug. 27 meeting.

Robert Herrington

Managing editor of Current in Noblesville. A 1999 graduate of Noblesville High School, Herrington has been covering Noblesville and Hamilton County as a journalist since 2004. The military brat lived all over the east coast before calling Noblesville home since 1994. He and his wife, Maggie, live in the community with their baby daughter (and youngest Boston Red Sox fan), Caroline. From school board to common council meetings, First Friday events and summer concerts in the city parks, Herrington loves to attend and cover all that Noblesville has to offer.

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