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Hotel proposed on North Brown Road

LAWRENCEVILLE - More hotel rooms may soon boost the hospitality business on Sugarloaf Parkway.

Developer Murphy Oil Co. wants to build a five-story Homewood Suites at North Brown Road and Sugarloaf. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based company submitted plans for the project Oct. 18, according to the Gwinnett County Planning and Development Department.

The 2-acre site of the proposed development is basically behind the Hampton Inn hotel on North Brown Road.

While not the full-service hotel Gwinnett tourism officials want, the Homewood Suites would add at least 85 rooms on Sugarloaf Parkway near the Arena at Gwinnett Center. Additional rooms can complement the Arena, which draws tourists for concerts and conventions.

"It's definitely going to help, and it's especially important for the convention business" said Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau spokeswoman Lisa Anders.

Gwinnett tourism officials may be at least a few years from landing a "convention center" hotel, but adding more rooms for corporate travelers is a plus, Anders said.

Homewood Suites, which is associated with Hilton, isn't the only hotel on the drawing board. Recently, developers announced plans for a $100 million mixed-use project near Gwinnett Place mall, including a five story hotel, tony spa and fitness center.

Dubbed a "Zen Urban Resort," the development will go on 10 acres at the intersection of Steve Reynolds Boulevard and Shackleford Road.