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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.K. Hotel Developer to Invest $1Bln

London & Regional Properties, the British real estate developer owned by Ian and Richard Livingstone, plans to spend at least $1 billion on projects in Russia in the next 12 months, David Geovanis, head of the company's Russian unit, said in an interview.

The investments will include a chain of hotels that the company is building for Hilton Hotels, Geovanis said Tuesday. Separately, London & Regional is constructing a hotel in St. Petersburg that's due to open in September.

"Prices will continue to grow and we want to be there first to take advantage of this dramatic growth," said Geovanis. "The value of assets that we have already bought has gone up so much."

London & Regional has invested about 500 million euros ($689 million) in Russia since 2005. The company, based in London, spent the money on developments ranging from residential properties to office buildings, as well as existing malls.

Russia may attract investment from foreign real estate companies worth $7 billion in 2007, up from $4 billion last year, according to London & Regional. The growth of the property market has been fueled by an economy that is in its ninth year of expansion.

London & Regional will build 20 hotels in Novosibirsk, Omsk, Krasnodar and other cities in the country over five years as part of its agreement with Hilton Hotels. The property it is building in St. Petersburg will be operated by Sokos Hotels of Finland.

Hilton's first hotel in Russia is scheduled to open this year under a franchise agreement with Sadko Hotel and will be operated by Interstate Management Services, Hilton said in September.