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Sugar Hill gives nod to hotel, conference center

SUGAR HILL - Sugar Hill may soon have one of the nicest hotels in the area.

City councilmen unanimously approved rezoning from commercial to general business 22.5 acres on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. The move in Monday's council meeting allows construction of a three-story hotel and conference center in the midst of a commercial center. The property lies just south of Pinecrest Drive and backs up to the railroad tracks.

Plans show six buildings constructed in the form of a square along the edges of the property surrounding a parking lot. One 70,000-square-foot retail center will span the length of the property from front to back. The hotel and conference center will stand approximately 800 feet back from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard at the rear of the property near the railroad tracks.

Three more buildings housing restaurants will round out the development. At the southern end of the property, a 42,000-square-foot, three-story, climate-controlled storage facility will stand across the creek.

The Hilton Garden logo appeared on the plans that Terry Boomer of BHD Engineering showed the council, although Hilton Hotels has not formally committed to the project.

Sugar Hill places a maximum 45-foot height on buildings. Boomer would like to have had that raised to 65 feet, which would allow a five-story hotel to be constructed. Councilmen invited Boomer to return with a variance request.

Councilmen could have granted that variance on Monday, according to Lee Thompson, city attorney.

"We didn't advertise it, so we didn't grant a variance," said Nick Thompson, councilman. "We want to get citizen input on a building that tall."

Approximately 75 single family homes stand on or near Pinecrest Drive. No extended stay motels may be constructed on the property.