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Plans for indoor go-karting venue K1 Speed slow down in Rogers amid dispute between property owners

by Garrett Moore | March 27, 2023 at 6:37 a.m.
Attendees look at cars March 7, 2021, at the Frisco Station Mall parking lot in Rogers. Frisco Station LLC, which operates the Frisco Station Mall, has objected to plans to lease space to K1 Speed at an adjacent building at 2111 W. Walnut St. (File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

ROGERS — Plans to bring a K1 Speed indoor, electric go-kart racing venue to Rogers have hit a speed bump.

Frisco Station LLC, which operates the Frisco Station Mall, has objected to plans to lease space to K1 Speed at an adjacent building at 2111 W. Walnut St.

6420 Bentonville Rogers LLC, the company wanting to lease the space to K1 Speed, has filed a complaint in Benton County Circuit Court requesting a declaratory judgment on whether the use of the property would violate previous agreements with Frisco Station. The complaint was electronically filed Thursday.

Plans for the proposed go-kart facility involve the north side of the building at 2111 W. Walnut St. The building houses Benton County offices and Samaritan Shop. A Kmart department store used to be in the building.

6420 Bentonville Rogers bought the 5.3-acre parcel for $5.6 million in November, according to county property records. The property owner and the building’s customers are allowed to use parking spaces owned by the mall, according to a parking and sign easement agreement dated 2004.

Representatives of Frisco Station sent letters earlier this year to 6420 Bentonville Rogers objecting to a lease for the go-kart facility.

In a Jan. 24 letter, Frisco Station expressed opposition to the proposed use and rezoning of the site, stating use of the property is limited by two reciprocal easement agreements between property owners, both dated January 1994.

An indoor go-kart facility at 2111 W. Walnut St. would violate those reciprocal easement agreements, which prohibit places of “recreation and amusement” like theaters, billiard parlors and night clubs, according to the letter signed by Frisco Station managing member Joseph Michael.

An attorney representing Frisco Station reiterated the objection to the go-kart facility in a Feb. 10 letter and stated Frisco Station would take “appropriate legal action” if the agreements were violated.

Representatives of 6420 Bentonville Rogers claim the reciprocal easement agreements don’t prohibit leasing the building to K1 Speed. Frisco Station previously attempted to lease one of its properties – the former location of Hobby Lobby, which is vacant — to K1 Speed, according to the complaint filed in Benton County Circuit Court.

The complaint states a lease between K1 Speed and 6420 Bentonville Rogers would be consistent with Frisco Station’s attempt to lease its own space to K1 Speed.

The city approved a conditional use permit and a rezoning related to the proposed go-kart facility.

The Planning Commission approved the permit on Jan. 3. The rezoning was approved by the commission on Feb. 7 and the City Council on Feb. 14.

“While the city may have approved the rezoning of the property, such approval does not alter my client’s objection to the prohibited use on the property,” the Feb. 10 letter from Frisco Station states.

City staff recommended the rezoning in order to bring the property at 2111 W. Walnut St. into compliance with the city’s comprehensive growth map, which guides development decisions in the city.

At the Jan. 7 commission meeting, an attorney representing Frisco Station spoke against the rezoning. Commissioner John Schmelzle said at the time the commission has its own criteria for land use and isn’t able to get into a private dispute.

A Rogers location of K1 Speed would be the first in Arkansas, according to the company’s website. The California-based company was founded in 2003 and has expanded to over 60 kart racing locations across the world, including locations in Dallas and Arlington, Texas.

The entertainment venue aims to appeal to casual racers, enthusiasts and gatherings like birthday parties and corporate events, a previous permit application states. According to the company’s website, the 20-horsepower electric karts for adults can reach 45 mph. Junior karts can reach 20 mph.


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