Cobb authority eyes 400-room hotel near site of $672M Braves stadium
by Jon Gillooly
March 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 9103 views | 7 7 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority Board Vice Chairman Max Bacon, left, who is also the mayor of Smyrna, and board member Earl Smith discuss going ahead with plans for a new hotel near the Cobb Galleria.<br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority Board Vice Chairman Max Bacon, left, who is also the mayor of Smyrna, and board member Earl Smith discuss going ahead with plans for a new hotel near the Cobb Galleria.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Board chairman Jerry Nix calls for a vote.<br>Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Board chairman Jerry Nix calls for a vote.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
CUMBERLAND — The county authority preparing to issue the bonds to fund the planned $672 million Cobb Atlanta Braves stadium is in the market for a 400-room hotel.

The idea is to build a full-service hotel adjacent to the Cobb Galleria Centre in front of the Cobb Travel & Tourism office.

The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, which governs the Galleria, agreed Monday to hire Los Angeles-based CBRE to lure an interested hotel company to the site.

The firm will be paid a brokerage fee of 5 percent of the first $10 mil lion of construction costs and 3 percent of the remaining costs.

The authority voted 5-0 in favor of the deal with members Bob Voyles and Mayor Steve Tumlin absent.

“We need more rooms here for the convention center so we can have larger conventions,” authority Chairman Jerry Nix said. “People don’t like having all of their people spread out in four or five hotels. So we need a hotel that has a lot of rooms.”

The hotel would also have a full-service restaurant and other amenities.

Nix said the authority had planned to move forward with a hotel before the recession hit, but then backed off until the market returned.

County Chairman Tim Lee, who serves on the authority, said the idea is to enter into a ground lease with a hotel company.

“We would lease the ground and they would build it and manage it,” Lee said. “We would contract with a name brand at a level, like a three-star plus.”

Voyles said it would be great to have the hotel open by the time the new stadium opens in 2017.

Multi-use development by the Performing Arts Centre?

The Exhibit Hall Authority also voted 5-0 to hire John Speros with Atlanta-based Ackerman & Co to market a five-acre parcel just south of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, which the authority also owns and manages.

That firm will receive a brokerage commission of 5 percent of the land price.

“We’ve had people pressing us, particularly since the Braves announced, want to come in and build a hotel and build this and build that,” Nix said. “It’s right there by the Cobb Energy Centre. Prime property with exposure to 75. It’s an important property to us, but we don’t know that a hotel isn’t the best use of that property. We don’t know that an office tower or mixed-use type, so that’s what Speros with Ackerman and Company are going to do for us.”

Voyles said he’d like to see some form of mixed-use development on the site.

“Maybe with some residential, office and retail,” Voyles said.

The Exhibit Hall Authority could sell the property or do a ground lease for that site too, he said.

“We have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Cobb County to make sure that these facilities are used and that we help grow the base. That’s the reason the county made the investment on it,” Voyles said.

In November, the Exhibit Hall Authority approved a memorandum of understanding with the county and the Atlanta Braves for the financing of the proposed stadium. The authority agreed to issue $368 million in revenue bonds. Lee expects the bonds will be issued this summer.

The seven-member appointed authority was created by the General Assembly in 1980.

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Kennesaw Resident
March 28, 2014
I am sure that I am missing something here. The taxpayers are now in the hotel business? Does anyone else see anything wrong with that?

Just sell the land and leave the taxpayer out of it.

March 27, 2014
If the movers and shakers(sic)cared a bit about this county they'd do something about the blighted areas. South Cobb is fast becoming a slum and no one cares. That bunch that voted for the stadium deal(taxpayer ripoff) certainly doesn't and slapping "lipstick" on Floyd road isn't going to make Mableton any less a pig. The only way to force the rabble out is to drive up real estate prices with redevelopment of old neighborhoods and raze the old apartments complexes. BTW I don't give a rip about "affordable housing", that's code for future slum.....
March 27, 2014
Did you think that area was going to get less developed? It's an excellent location for new offices, hotels, retail -- and a major league baseball stadium. (It would also be a good spot for a Major League Hockey team, as the fan base for hockey is the same for baseball -- the northern suburbs.) That area attracted the Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta Ballet, both of which have seen increases in their businesses. It cleaner and safer than downtown. If you wanted a quiet, isolated location, the intersection of I-285 and I-75 was not a good choice.
March 27, 2014
Sure, bring on the NHL. Best of luck to you. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola and NCR are moving their IT operations - people making $150,000 a year or more - from Cobb and Gwinnett to the dirty, unsafe downtown. Lots of IT companies are locating/relocating there, and a ton of high end apartments and townhomes are being built to accommodate them. The Atlanta Business Chronicle says that dirty, unsafe downtown is #9 in the world in new apartment construction projects, the total investment (all in private money) will dwarf the private money plus corporate welfare that is being spent on the Cobb County Braves. So enjoy your professional athletes. Dirty, unsafe downtown will simply have to make do with all the tech workers making 6 figure salaries.
Disgruntled Cobber
March 27, 2014
This is just the beginning of the commercialization and downfall of that entire area. Crime, drugs and bad elements will follow. I remember the same things being said when Six Flags was built many years ago and now see what you have near that by I-20. You already have prostitution problem where the stadium is being built and not to mention the Franklin Rd an Spring Rd. gang activity that is present. Moving from Cobb very soon - its going to be a mess.
March 27, 2014
Why do we need ANOTHER hotel? There's at least 8-10 hotels in the immediate area (Sheraton, Waverly, La Quinta, two extended stays, two Hampton Inns, Courtyard just to name a few). Tim Lee needs to come live in the area to see what's already there and to experience the headaches and traffic we already have TOO MUCH OF!!! This whole deal stinks of pocket lining. By the time this is all said and done, we tax payers are going to get to pay a pretty hefty tax bill. I'm selling and moving as soon as I can - don't want to be anywhere near this mess.
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