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MORROW, GA-Clayton County and city officials confirm they are close to signing an intergovernmental contract that would kick off a $48 million bond issue in February to pay for a planned $40-million Hilton Hotel and 20,000-sf convention center at Gateway Village near Hartsfield International Airport.

The site, in this suburban town, is five miles south of Downtown Atlanta on Jonesboro Road near Clayton College & State University and the Reynolds Nature Preserve. County officials have said they will guarantee $25 million of the project’s debt payments. Officials point out the development authority sold $28.5 million in bonds four years ago to buy land for the project and a nearby apartment complex.

Clayton County Development Authority officials say the hotel-conference center venture will be comparable with existing projects at Emory University and Georgia Tech when it opens in early 2006.

The Hilton Hotel and conference center is the third phase of Gateway Village, a mixed-use development that includes a state archives facility which opened in May and a federal archives building under construction. The project will also house an undetermined amount of commercial, retail and office in later phases, according to the development authority.

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