Shuwa's other downtown properties are 800 S. Figueroa St., 801 S. Grand Ave., and 810 S. Flower St.

Buildings that Shuwa owns in other parts of town are 505 N. Brand in Glendale, 1900 and 1901 Avenue of the Stars in Century City, 201 Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica and 6222 Wilshire Blvd. in the Miracle Mile district.

Shuwa owns about 25 office buildings nationwide and in London, including nine in Los Angeles and others in Orange County, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. The current market value of those buildings is estimated at about $2 billion, of which roughly half is in the L.A. area.

One real estate source said Shuwa initially approached a select group of buyers, but wasn't able to elicit the desired price, so it opted to go forward with a formal marketing process for much or all of its U.S. portfolio.

Eastdil Realty, an investment-banking firm based in New York with offices in L.A., is representing Shuwa in the sell-off. Eastdil was also the firm that several years ago handled Shuwa's acquisition of 505 Brand and Arco Plaza.

Eastdil has also been retained to find a buyer for the Century Plaza in Century City, one of L.A.'s largest and most prestigious hotels. Nippon Life is the mortgage holder for the property, which is owned by a partnership led by Chicago-based JMB Realty Corp.

"It's a fabulous time to be looking to get value for a trophy asset like this," said Jeff Weber, a managing director with Eastdil.

To help fetch top dollar for the 1,046-room Century Plaza, an extensive $25 million upgrade has been undertaken on the hotel's guest rooms, suites, entry area and fa & #231;ade facing Avenue of the Stars in Century City.

Major metro-area luxury hotels can sell for anywhere from $190,000 to $250,000 per room, although there are many variables, said Chuck Nester, president of Westlake Village-based Brown Hotel Group Inc. Real estate sources said likely candidates to buy the hotel would be Starwood Lodging Trust or Marriott International.

"It's a strong buyers' market. They have a lot of money to spend," said Nester, referring to offshore and U.S. investors, pension funds, mutual funds and real estate investment trusts. "What's helped fuel it is the Wall Street money and availability of financing."

Across the street from the hotel, a fund represented by J.P. Morgan Investment Management has agreed to acquire the leasehold interest in the ABC Entertainment Center from Japan Leasing, sources said. The price is in the low $30 million range and escrow is anticipated to close Aug. 6.

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