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Russia: Loan Distributed For St. Petersburg Office Complex

Washington, 2 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has made its first disbursement of financing for a commercial real estate renovation project in the heart of St. Petersburg, Russia.

The independent U.S. government agency, which provides insurance and financing to American investors abroad, released $3.2 million to the Atrium at Nevsky 25 office complex during the weekend. OPIC is providing up to $13.5 million for the project.

The project is being developed by a Chicago-based real estate firm. It involves the complete renovation of a five-story historic building on Nevsky Prospeckt into 8,100 square meters of modern office and commercial space, the first such building in central St. Petersburg.

Acting OPIC President Mildred Callear visited the project on Saturday. She said progress on the project "signals to American investors the growing opportunities" in Russia.

Callear was in Helsinki last week to meet with a new U.S.-Finnish joint board, a product of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission set up to develop and promote private investment in countries like Russia.