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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Marriott Confirms Its Role in Talks On Takeover of the Intourist Hotel

A senior official of the Marriott hotel chain confirmed Monday that the company is involved in talks with Moscow city officials to take over and rebuild the Hotel Intourist on Tverskaya Ulitsa near the Kremlin.

"We are actively working with the city to bring this project to fruition," said Marriott Vice President Wendell Ward in a telephone interview from Washington.

Intourist officials said last month that they were holding serious talks with a "prominent Western company" about the prime downtown site, but declined to identify the firm.

Marriott is negotiating with the Moscow city government, which owns the hotel, on a 49-year lease. Ward said plans call for razing the existing building and replacing it with a new hotel that would include "a large office compound and significant retail outlets." The estimated cost is "in excess of $100 million" he said.

But he said it is unclear when the negotiations, already under way for about two years, will conclude. He said work at the site probably could not start until after Moscow's 850th anniversary celebrations next year.

Other details, including the financial role of the city, remain uncertain.

"The city might sell some of its shares to the Marriott, but I don't know how much. For now we don't plan to be entirely privatized," said Peter Kriskovet, the Intourist's technical director.