NASCAR Plans Office Tower for Charlotte, N.C., Hall of Fame

Nov. 7--A few financing points aside, NASCAR says it's ready to move forward with the construction of a 19-story office tower to occupy one corner of its planned NASCAR Hall of Fame property.

And the tower plans now surpass what the organization had pitched earlier this year, with 400,000 rentable square feet instead of 300,000.

But NASCAR, which secured an option to build the tower on city land this spring, asked for its third extension of the option, which originally was supposed to expire in September. NASCAR and city officials said they need another 15 to 30 days to settle unresolved issues:

--Deciding how many of a planned 840 parking spaces the city will pay for and how much NASCAR will pay for.

--The amount of contingency funds for construction.

--How much the city would realize from any future sale or refinancing of the tower.

--What the city's responsibility would be to the office tower developer "in the very unlikely event," as a city document put it Monday, that the hall of fame is not built.

The City Council voted Monday to extend the option, although Assistant City Manager Ron Kimble said NASCAR probably will exercise the option Nov. 28. Before the vote, council members viewed an updated version of the plans for the hall of fame, designed by New York architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and designers Ralph Appelbaum Associates.