MARICOPA — Despite the entanglement of legal battles over the past few years, APEX Motor Club took a big step forward by breaking ground on its future facility.

On Thursday morning, APEX leadership, city officials and local dignitaries joined together at the future racetrack home to turn dirt and begin the construction process. APEX is a private motor sports club and racetrack. Once opened, it plans to offer a 2.27-mile race-quality asphalt road as well as luxurious garages for members.

“We stood out here three years ago and saw some farmland, and now we’re building a racetrack,” said Jason Plotke, founder and president.

Plotke said the groundbreaking Thursday was an emotional moment for him and his team because, at the time, they didn’t know if they would even make it to this point. The group has been involved in a legal battle with a group that claimed APEX improperly obtained permits for the motor sports park.

The lawsuit is awaiting a petition for review by the Arizona Supreme Court, and APEX hopes to know more this week.

“We’re standing by, but still moving forward,” he said.

He said one of the things that motivated APEX to keep pushing through the legal troubles is support from the city. Plotke said working with the mayor and city staff has been “wonderful.”

“That in itself has elevated us to keep pushing further and further, because of all that support and the welcoming we received from day one,” he said.

Maricopa Mayor Christian Price has stood by the group through the lawsuit and has been an outspoken advocate of the club coming to Maricopa. So for him, he said the groundbreaking was also a big moment.

“It’s nice to see a vision come out of the ground,” he said. “Like I always say, Maricopa is about vision. It’s about taking a blank slate and trying to see what we can make of it, and this is a great example of that.”

Price said this is a much-needed, first large-scale development for Maricopa, and once this is built, many other developments in a wide range of industries will follow suit. He said this is just the first step to transforming Maricopa into a destination location.

“From that investment, you will see ancillary things that want to come and be around it,” he said.

Plotke said the group plans to open during the first quarter of 2019. After that, APEX will be under more construction for the next three years to complete all three phases.

During his remarks on Thursday, City Manager Rick Horst said his team will do everything it can to stay ahead of the group and get them the permits needed to be able to open successfully.

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