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November 16, 2012

Indy Car team looks to root in Brownsburg

BROWNSBURG — The racing community here continues to expand, and it appears that expansion will include the KV Racing Indy Car series team, which was approved for lease assistance at an Economic Development Commission meeting earlier this week.

The motion passed unanimously and will now go to the town council for final approval, set to likely appear on a December agenda.

The lease assistance would be for $10,000 over a 36-month period as the team aims to take over the currently vacant space at 493 Southpoint Circle. The building is 17,000 square feet.

KV Racing would bring about 30 jobs to the town paying near $40 an hour. That’s the type of thing Cinda Kelley of the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership thinks is good for the community, noting the average wage is $15.75 an hour.

“These are certainly the types of jobs that Brownsburg would love to see in the community,” she said.

KV Racing has been in business since 2002 and features popular Indy Car series drivers Tony Kanaan and Simona De Silvestro. Kanaan is a Brazilian driver who led the Indianapolis 500 in each of his first seven appearances at the event. He finished third this past May.

Greg Johnson of KV Racing said he lives in town and they plan on moving all of their operations here.

“We’ve had a problem with crime, and we’re oversized a bit, and we have wasted space,” he said. “We’re trying to size ourselves into a more appropriate building to fit our needs. Every year we’ve tried to get a little bit better. We’ve streamlined our business over the last year and a half.”

Kelley said they are still trying to negotiate with the existing landlord to leave the building, and that the EDC’s approval for lease assistance goes a long way in helping to make that decision.

Town Manager Grant Kleinhenz said that while it might be unusual to offer lease assistance without a signed lease, there is no risk to the town in approving it.

“I know in the past we’ve asked for the lease to be in place, but I think it’s more of a formality,” he said. “If we approve it and it doesn’t happen, there’s no detrimental effect to us.”

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