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U.S. company, German state to redevelop 1936 Olympic village

July 3, 1997

BERLIN (AP) _ A rural stretch just outside Berlin that was home to the 1936 Olympic athletes and, later, Soviet soldiers will become a modern suburb under a plan announced Thursday.

The $900 million project is a joint venture between the eastern German state of Brandenburg and AIG-Lincoln Properties GmbH of Dallas, according to Germanus Pause, managing director of the Brandenburg State Development Corp.

A memo of understanding was signed Wednesday in New York, he said.

Initially a training ground for World War I fighter pilots, the 309-acre site in Elstal housed 4,000 male athletes for the 1936 Olympics.

Few of the original buildings remain, but the bungalows that housed the U.S. team, including gold medalist Jesse Owens, have been declared landmarks and protected from destruction.

The site was a German infantry school until the Red Army arrived in 1945, and Soviet troops used it as a base until 1994.

Work will begin next year and developers will eventually build 3,000 to 3,500 houses, Pause said in a telephone interview from New York.

Brandenburg state will own 60 percent of the future company, the Americans the rest.

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