When Floyd County built what Northwest Georgians know as State Mutual Stadium, there was a lot of talk about the potential for other growth around the stadium. It was the “build it and they will come” idea.

To be sure, the line from Field of Dreams 30 years ago was “If you build it, he will come.” For most of the past 16 years, the “he” was Eddie Hasko at Bella Roma. Some might even consider the “he” to be Charles Curlee across the bypass at Fuddruckers.

Things were kind of lonely on Braves Boulevard leading to the Armuchee Connector for many years. Then came Steve Irmscher at Line-X and Charlie Williams at the RiverPoint Apartments, then Mike and Matthew Schieffer at Lumina Coffee.

This week, we learned that Jigar Patel plans to build an 11,100 square foot multi-purpose commercial establishment right behind Lumina. It will include a Circle K gas station, a liquor store and a fast food restaurant.

It’s taken a while, but “they” are finally coming to fill in the acreage around the stadium. We are aware that there have been discussions with the developer of a proposed hotel for another tract near the stadium and real estate executives are quick to point out that the traffic count on the bypass at the intersection with Riverside Parkway and Braves Boulevard is growing all the time.

The construction of the RiverPoint Apartments certainly played a role in the decision to put the Lumina Coffee Shop at the busy intersection. If a new hotel does go up near that intersection, it will become even more attractive for additional restaurant development.

And don’t forget about Berry College’s plans to develop a hotel adjacent to the Rome Tennis Center which is likely to spur even further commercial growth in the area. Berry confirmed those plans back in early June.

College officials indicated back then that they expected to be able to reveal how the hotel would be branded within two to three months but that hasn’t happened yet. The college is taking its time, wanting to attract just the right fit for their project and we’re still confident the project is moving forward.

The branding is a big deal. We’ve already reported that when the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament was played in Rome in 2017, a couple of the colleges elected to stay in a nearby community and not Rome, because Rome didn’t have the hotel where they college enjoyed preferred guest status.

Whatever brand the college goes with should be a quality one, as that’s the way Berry College rolls.

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