NBA legend Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin plan to build the 23XI Racing headquarters on a 37 acre tract on Hwy. 21 at Hambright Road in Huntersville. The mixed-use project will include commercial space, 300 apartments, a hotel and flex space.
Driver Bubba Wallace and the No. 23 Toyota Camry will make their NASCAR Cup Series debut at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14 at Daytona International Speedway.
“We could not be more excited than to have the joint venture with Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan along with Bubba Wallace coming to Huntersville,” said Mayor John Aneralla.
Hotel, offices, apartments
The project includes a hotel with 120 rooms and 12,000 square feet of commercial office space.
Cornelius developer Jake Palillo laid out plans for the mixed-use project at Monday’s Town Board meeting. He did not name the principals behind it, but sources confirmed they are the historic Jordan-Hamlin NASCAR combo.
Planning staff is “very supportive” of the project which will be a southern gateway to Huntersville, Aneralla said. The project, valued in the tens of millions of dollars, will have to go before the Huntersville Planning Board before it comes back to the Town Board, most likely during the second meeting in February.
Racing to the start
“When building a race team, I can’t emphasize enough that this is from the ground up,” Hamlin told NASCAR officials.
Hamlin and Jordan are establishing a highly competitive NASCAR Cup Series organization in a matter of months. The partnership was announced in September; the 2021 season opens Feb. 14 at Daytona.
Sponsors lined up
DoorDash, Dr Pepper, McDonald’s, Columbia and Root Insurance are sponsoring the No. 23 Toyota. With those sponsorship dollars in place, Hamlin told NASCAR officials they now have a budget for 2021 and beyond.
Both Hamlin and Jordan have homes in Cornelius.