On Tuesday of this week, Northville Downs announced that “after being in business in downtown Northville for almost 75 years” they have entered into a contract to develop the land where the track is currently located.   The Detroit Free Press reported that real estate company Hunter Pasteur Homes is the developer for the project. According to the Free Press, the firm said it intends to redevelop the track and adjacent land, totaling 48 acres, to build a mixed-use development with commercial space and 500 to 600 new residences, including high-end apartments, townhouses and single-family houses.

The track announced that live harness racing and simulcast wagering will continue at the current location through 2020.  They also noted that they are exploring multiple other locations to develop a state of the art “gaming facility”, but noted that they will work closely with state and local representatives to “implement the necessary changes that other states around us have, so we can bring racing back to its finest day.”  On its website, the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association relayed that Northville Downs has “interest in building a new track pending changes to the horse racing laws in Michigan.”

The announcement from Northville Downs came just two weeks after the only other remaining track in Michigan, and only thoroughbred facility, Hazel Park Raceway announced that it was closing and selling its real estate. 

Currently, there are two pieces of legislation pending in the Michigan Senate (SB 382 and HB 4611) to allow for “third party facilitator” licensing to permit a form of advanced deposit wagering for the tracks.


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