Written for MyCentralJersey.com on 7/26/16
Every weekend, 12,000 car lovers flock to the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in Millville to race on two world-class road courses, go-kart on one of the top karting facilities in the country, watch races and take on-track driving instruction.
However, for 16 enthusiasts — a number that is ever-growing — NJMP has become their home-away-from-home after their purchase of an exotic car garage (ECG).
“I think that this is a dream for anyone who’s a car guy,” said Brandon Hull of Princeton, a venture capitalist who was the second person to purchase an ECG, which began being constructed at NJMP in 2014. “It’s sort of nirvana to be able to store all of your equipment right at the race track. And, it’s a privilege to do track days whenever your schedule permits.”
For $140 to $145 per square foot, car enthusiasts have been swiping up NJMP’s addition of the 17 500- to 1,600-square-foot ECGs to its 500-acre facility, some of which face the road courses and the newly opened Speedplex High Performance Automotive and Motorcycle Service Facility. The units include aspects such as 24/7 security, climate control and a garage door. After that, owners can make whatever upgrades they want to them.
“It’s amazing what some owners are doing with their units,” said Brad Scott, operating officer of NJMP. “Some are making man caves and some are making classic entertainment spaces. We had one man that did his Ferrari red to tie in with his cars. Another gave his 1,000-square-foot mezzanine level glass doors to showcase his cars and he is using his top level as a luxury living space.”
As Scott explained, the diversity of the units is just as diverse as the owners’ tastes, similar to an actual home. ECG owners have been adding lifts, mezzanine lofts overlooking their cars, bedrooms, 180-degree decks, floor-to-ceiling windows, full-length bars, security systems, wine rooms, home theaters and more, with prices including upgrades ranging from $150,000 to $500,000. They can do their upgrades on their own or with NJMP’s contractors.
Just as the ECGs range from serious working garages, such as Hull’s, to more entertainment-oriented garages, the backgrounds and towns of residence of the owners range as well — as far as five states.
Some of the owners are from Hoboken, Avalon, New York City, Pennsylvania and even Margate — just around the corner. They are doctors, pharmaceutical representatives, business owners and more.
“It’s a very eclectic group,” said Scott. “For them, it has helped to create this passion and sport for a family-oriented project at what has become a destination.”
And a destination it is. Besides facilities needed for cars, NJMP also has a clubhouse, pool, restaurant, tennis courts and paintball field. It is also surrounded by scenic rivers, located near Delaware Bay and the Jersey Shore.
For the owners, who may live 10 minutes to two hours from their ECGs, it’s the convenience of having all of their race supplies and cars near the track that makes it worth the investment.
Scott said they have learned through this venture that these are people who spend a lot to move product, which is very expensive. For many of them, this makes sense as an investment because they can own a garage and also stay there so they don’t have to rent hotels.
Hull, who visits the track every two weeks, said, “As an investor, I wouldn’t have made the decision if I didn’t think it would increase in value as the track gets more popular and the range of activities at the track increases.”
Of course, besides that, Scott continued, “They have this great garage overlooking this racetrack. It’s like looking over the 18th hole.”
Owners of ECGs also receive a complimentary one-year Drivers’ Club membership to NJMP, a $5,000 value.
According to Scott, the number of ECGs at NJMP will only grow — they have space for about 200 more, which can be built as condominiums or as ECGs. However, he said, “People are so blown away by these that they almost beg to know when the next phase will be built. We see us continuing to build garages.”
They are breaking ground on the 8,800-square-foot Phase two of the ECGs. Plans for Phase three will be released shortly and will be similar to Phase two with seven or eight units.
Housed in these units are cars such as Miatas, Mustangs, Ferraris, Porches, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, go-karts, Camaros and more. Depending on the size and custom configuration of the owner’s garage, as well as the types of vehicles stored there, 1,000 square feet can hold four to six cars.
So how did NJMP come up with an idea that’s become such a hit with car lovers?
They found a video.
In 2014, they saw in a video that a similar project was completed at the Minneapolis Motorplex, which grew to 500 units and allowed people to showcase their cars and their passion. NJMP was blown away by the project, which wasn’t even on a racetrack like NJMP is. So the owners came together to begin Phase one, seeing the opportunity available.
Today, Scott said, he doesn’t think any other ECGs even come close to what NJMP can offer because they are located on a racetrack and have other amenities for families available.
“There are a few other clubs that offer private garages, but they are a lot less affordable than what we offer,” said Scott. “That exclusion isn’t happening here. We manage for the everyday driver.”
New Jersey Motorsports Park Exotic Car Garages
Where: 8000 Dividing Creek Road, Millville
Cost: $140 to $145 per square foot
Square-footage range: 500 to 1,600
Contact: njmp.com, 856-327-8000