Telman Ismailov, the former owner of Moscow's Cherkizovsky market, plans to build Russia's largest hotel complex for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in southern Russia, Vedomosti business daily said on Monday.
The project will cost Ismailov's AST Group more than $1 billion, the paper quoted Stanislav Ivashkevich, CB Richard Ellis deputy chief development officer, as saying.
The 24.6 hectare Sodruzhestvo complex will have 5,500 rooms, the paper said, adding that AST Group was also planning to build a 150-room hotel in the Imeretinskaya valley near Sochi on a 0.98 hectare site.
Both hotels must be in operation by June 2013, Vedomosti said, quoting documents from Olympstroy, the state agency in charge of Olympic construction.
Ismailov's Cherkizovsky market, notorious for racist attacks on immigrant workers, fires and criminality, was closed last summer by order of Russia's consumer watchdog. Ismailov subsequently spent several months abroad.
In 2008, Ismailov opened the $1.4 billion Mardan Palace Hotel in Turkey. Last December Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that Russian businessmen who have resources should invest them in Russia, citing investment in building hotels in Sochi as an example.
MOSCOW, September 20 (RIA Novosti)