Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. is buying the landmark Century Plaza hotel for $293 million, or $403,000 for each of its 728 rooms, a record-setting amount for a California hotel.


Chicago-based Global Hyatt Corp. will manage the property, which will be owned by Sunstone, a San Clemente-based real estate investment trust that buys high-end hospitality properties. The hotel will be renamed the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.


"That's going to be the highest price per room paid this year," said Alan X. Reay, president of hotel brokerage and consultancy Atlas Hospitality Group Inc. Reay was not involved in the deal.


Hyatt said Sunstone plans to spend $22.5 million to remodel and renovate the Century Plaza's guest rooms, common space and the addition of a Regency level and a Hyatt Regency Club.


Hyatt will continue to manage the nearby 366-room Park Hyatt, according to spokeswoman Katie Meyer. The Park Hyatt, located at 2151 Avenue of the Stars, is owned by Tokyo-based Sumitomo Realty & Development Co. Ltd.


Meyer said Hyatt didn't believe the two properties would compete with each other. "The Park Hyatt and Hyatt Regency are two different brands," she said.


Francis Najafi, chairman and chief executive of Pivotal Group, which owns the Century Plaza, declined comment.


Pivotal Group was represented in the deal by Steven L. McKenzie, a managing director at Eastdil. McKenzie declined comment.


The Minoru Yamasaki-designed Century Plaza has hosted every U.S. President since its completion in 1966, and its ballroom has been the location of many notable political events, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2003 victory party.

Six years ago, Pivotal Group bought both the St. Regis and the Century Plaza for about $220 million. Pivotal then sunk about $60 million into renovating both properties.

Last year, Pivotal Group sold the adjacent 300-room St. Regis Hotel to Related Cos. for about $125 million, or $417,000 per room, as a condominium conversion.

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