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Gwinnett Center hotel project lease approved

Gwinnett commissioners are moving forward on a deal to build a full-service hotel at the Gwinnett Center.

The board signed off Tuesday on a lease of the land at the Duluth facility, where the hotel is slated to be built leading into the convention center on Sugarloaf Parkway.

Officials also approved an amendment to an agreement with Nilhan Hospitality for the venture, although the agreement still calls for the company to fund the entire $57 million investment in a Marriott hotel.

The amendment allows the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Board to review and approve the site plans, construction documents and specifications for the headquarters hotel, which is expected to draw more tourism business to the county.

“It’ll allow us to get the process moving and start the process,” said the bureau’s Preston Williams. “We’re in a position to move forward.”

Williams said he expects design work to begin soon, and construction could begin as soon as the spring. The 300-room hotel is expected to open in 2016.