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Hotels see benefit in stadium

LAWRENCEVILLE - With Tuesday's announcement that the Richmond Braves' AAA baseball team will relocate to Gwinnett, developers already seem to be rooting for the home team.

Panorama Hospitality already had plans to build two six-story hotels on Financial Center Way, on the other side of Interstate 85 from where the Gwinnett team's stadium will be located.

But the news that a baseball team will be coming to town made the developer even more pleased about prospects for the property, said Michael Sullivan, an attorney representing Panorama Hospitality.

"The client already told me how excited he is to have a potential source of guests," Sullivan said.

Planning commissioners Tuesday recommended that nearly 9 acres at the 3100 block of Financial Center Way be rezoned to allow a Holiday Inn and a Hilton Garden Inn. The project will also include a 20,000-square-foot conference center, 15,000 square feet of office space and two restaurants.

The development is near the Mall of Georgia and would be the second and third hotels built by that developer in the area.

The project will come before the county's Board of Commissioners Jan. 22, where commissioners will vote on the project itself and a special-use permit to allow the six-story hotel height.