"There is a shortage of hotel rooms for the business executives in the area, and there really is no place for them to stay," said Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the development's district. "They will be bringing in some really nice, white-tablecloth restaurants and it's a good project for the area and the county."
The plans for a Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotel were approved by the county 5-0 in April. The group's attorney, John Moore of the Marietta law firm Moore, Ingram Johnson & Steele, said construction should start sometime this summer, as soon as permitting is complete. Moore said no work can be done on the project until 30 days after it is approved, but once the 30 days is up and the group closes on the property, construction will begin immediately.
Construction will take nine months to a year to complete, Moore said. According to its website, the company is based out of the Monarch Tower on Peachtree Road in the Buckhead area of Atlanta near Phipps Plaza.
"This will offer a nice place to stay for corporate travelers who are planning to stay more than one night," Moore said. "So for people who need to stay three, four or five nights, right now, they don't really have anywhere to do that in that area."
Moore said 80 percent of the 150 rooms in the 105,596-square-foot hotel will include kitchenettes with a cook top, which required county approval.
Moore said the hotel will include an indoor pool and a hotel restaurant in addition to three other yet-to-be-determined restaurants and a meeting room.
"They haven't settled on any restaurants yet, but there has been a lot of interest because those will really be the only restaurants on that side of 75. The closest would be Ray's on the River. So those will be good additions to the area," Moore said.
Overton Park was first approved by the Cobb Board of Commissioners in February 1998 as a mixed-use development by Hines Interests Limited Partnership to include high-rise office and residential units. According to minutes from that meeting, the property was fully zoned to include 1.45 million square feet of office space, 400 units of high-rise luxury residential space, a 200-room hotel, four top-class restaurants and retail outparcels.
"Overton Park has been designed with the future in mind, from access to Cobb County's future light rail transit system and shuttle bus service, to the Cumberland Mall and Galleria retail areas, to recharging stations for electric cars," according to the minutes.
"That whole area was a bigger project when it was approved in 1998, and since then, that area just kind of sat because the developers didn't follow through with their original plans. So it's good to see something going in there like this," said Cobb Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Murray Homan.
Ott said there is likely $30 million to $40 million worth of projects currently starting up or planned for the area, which he said is located near the large flag flying on top of the parking deck that is visible from I-75. Ott said the hotel will be going up on the south part of the development, which is currently vacant land.
"If you're coming from 41 and Cumberland Boulevard, as the road curves around and heads toward 285, it's right there in the southern part of the curve," Ott said.
Katherine Brooks of Hines Interests and general manager of Overton Park said that while the hotel development is in the area of the Overton development, the group is purchasing the land for the hotel from First Citizens Bank and Hines is not affiliated with the site from an ownership standpoint. Brooks said the site went back to the bank last April from a joint venture company that previously owned it.
Phone calls to Noble representatives were not returned by press time.