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A Tooele County judge has vacated a planned sale of Miller Motorsports Park to a Chinese company.
Late Thursday afternoon, 3rd District Judge Robert Adkins ruled in favor of Center Point Management, the development company that lost its bid to buy the property. Adkins ordered the sale set aside, according to Adam Affleck, a Salt Lake City attorney who represented Center Point in its lawsuit against Tooele County.
Affleck and his team of attorneys are now tasked with writing the judge's order for Tooele County to follow, he said.
The ruling comes two months after the Tooele County Commission voted to sell the park to Mitime Utah Investment, LLC a subsidiary of Chinese company Geely Holding Group, the owner of Volvo for $20 million.
But Center Point Management argued its bid was higher and should have been chosen. Center Point sued, arguing the county cannot sell property for less than fair market value.
"This fight was more about Tooele than it was about us," said Andrew Cartwright of Center Point Management. "It was just wrong. Absolutely wrong."
Affleck said Center Point will pursue a purchase of the racetrack and has increased its offer to $28 million.
"We fought for Tooele, and Tooele's going to get the money they deserve whether it's us or somebody else," said Cartwright.
Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne said in a statement to 2News that he was "disappointed" in the ruling.
"Tooele County is committed to bringing about the successful sale of the Miller Motorsports Park property," the statement says. "It is important to the citizens of the county that it remain a viable racetrack, and that the jobs and businesses associated with the facility, as well the revenue realized by the county and area businesses, remain intact."
County leaders have said the deal with Mitime would be good for tourism and good for the track. Now, it's back to the drawing board.
"Our offer is good," said Cartwright. "All they have to do is sign it so this could all be over tonight."
According to the suit, Mitime offered $20 million in cash payable at closing and up to $2.5 million in cash to pay its proportionate share of infrastructure cost if it wanted to obtain an alternate or secondary source of water and sewer to the property.
Center Point, a Wyoming-based company, offered $22.5 million in cash payable at closing and up to $5 million in cash to pay for the construction of culinary water and sewer services to be provided by the county to the property within two years, the suit said.
The Salt Lake Tribune contributed to this report