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AUSTIN EDITION -- Commission OKs go-cart proposal in Rochester

By Jeffrey Pieters

jpieters@postbulletin.com

A warehouse in northwest Rochester could be converted to an indoor go-cart track, under a plan that received preliminary approval Wednesday from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The warehouse, at 1937 Seventh St. N.W., is owned by the Bluhm family partnership. The warehouse recently had a sign in the window indicating Kart America was coming soon.

The owner's representative, Tom Hexum of the Rochester-based Hexum Companies, said there are no immediate plans to convert the building.

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The go-cart plan, he said, is intended "to offer another alternative to lease the building and get it occupied."

"There's a lot of people in the marketplace currently looking for that type of location," Hexum said.

Go-carting, Hexum said, is an increasingly popular form of recreation in this region, with a handful of tracks in the Twin Cities area and several more in Wisconsin.

In the plan, go-carts would run on a 15,000-square-foot track. The carts themselves would have gas-powered, five-horsepower engines. The business would operate five go-carts initially, with the potential to add five more. The business also would include an arcade.

The plan would require city council approval.

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