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SUGARLOAF, GA-Construction will begin in October on the Embassy Suites at Sugarloaf, a 10-story, 234-room hotel at Sugarloaf Parkway and Satellite Boulevard. The project is expected to be completed in December 2008.

Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp. sold the 4.6-acre development site to Tifton, GA-based GS Development, which is developing the project, which is expected to cost close to $30 million, Duke leasing representative Wes Hardy tells Duke will build the hotel and GS Development will own and operate it. Hardy represented Duke in the land sale and construction agreement and GS Development vice president Greg Jacobs represented GS Development.

The project, which will feature a steakhouse, will be located next to the Gwinnett Center and Arena complex, the site of music, sporting and other events. The hotel will be a Version Three Embassy Suites, which features more modern architecture.

“Sugarloaf is the most prestigious office and residential area in the northeast corridor of Atlanta,” Hardy says. “This particular site in on the ‘main and main’ of that area.”

Hardy adds that Duke had considered developing an office building on the site, but decided against it. “If we had had some significant preleasing, then we may have pursued the office development,” he says. “This agreement allowed us to harvest the land value and be the general contractor for a hotel that seems to make sense for the site.”

The project, Duke’s third construction assignment in the past six months, reflects the company’s recent increase in general contracting work. The company is also building and developing Jackson Healthcare’s headquarters and the Encore Park Amphitheatre in Alpharetta.

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